Ever since HBO's critically lauded and fan loved take on the Micheal Crichton's Westworld movie began, fans have been eager to see SamuraiWorld in the TV series. The aspect of the theme park was one of the highlights of the film and now it appears that it may be coming to life once again, when Westworld Season 2 returns next year. According to Deadline, popular Japenese actor Hiroyuki Sanada has been tapped for a major role in the show's sophomore season. So, why exactly is Sanada's casting so important? Like most of the hosts in Westworld, the answer to this, lies in his past characters.
Sanada The Perfect Samurai
The 56-year-old Japenese actor has appeared in multiple movies like Ring and Rush Hour 3, but it's his roles in films like The Last Samurai and 47 Ronin that hint at why this character may play such a pivotal role in the #TV series. In fact, a quick glance at his filmography sees Sanada attached to a dozen or so action based roles, most of which include Samurai's in them. He's certainly a good actor and his physique is top notch which makes him a likely candidate to ease us into the SamuraiWorld aspect of the park.
Sharpen Your Swords, Cause Samurai World Is Coming!
Although the show hasn't admitted that it will take us to the popular theme park, we do know that there are more parks out there and since a large part of Maeve's arc revolves around her finding her daughter, it may very easily lead her to SamuraiWorld.
In an interview with Deadline back in December, Executive Producer Jonathon Nolan revealed his desire to see SamuraiWorld next year. We were even shown a glimpse of it in the Westworld season finale Maeve was trying to escape from the park and ended up inside a Delos headquarter marked 'SW'. When Maeve asks Felix what the place is, he replies: "It's … complicated."
Although the movie itself showed multiple parks, the series has only hinted at their existence several times, and out of them all SamuraiWorld has the greatest chance of appearing in Season 2. In an interview with EW, Jonathon Nolan explained the involvement of the SamuraiWorld in Westworld finale, stating:
"This samurai-shogun world, for us, has a very specific relation to the Western. Some of my favorite movies are the Sergio Leone adaptations of the Akira Kurosawa samurai films: The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. In the period when the Western was the biggest genre in the world, the interplay between Westerns and samurai films in the domestic market in Japan was really cool. On that meta level, those two genres have this almost incestuous relationship with each other. We just couldn't resist."
More recently, the show's casting director all but confirmed that we would be seeing Samurai's next season whilst he was explaining to The Huffington Post that even casting could lead to potential spoilers for the next show:
"If somebody's aware you're looking for Japanese actors that could play a period piece, you don't [want fans to] figure out or discuss how that world is now fitting into Westworld."
And let's not forget that Funko — at New York Comic Con a samurai doll was released which was called Musashi, the same name as Hiroyuki Sanada's character.
As evidenced by the recent Hellboy snafu, there are certainly those in Hollywood who don't mind whitewashing roles in their films, but the recent push for diversity has certainly made many filmmakers and showrunners keen to cast the right people for the right roles, and if Sanada is cast in Westworld as a Samurai, it will certainly signal that #Westworld is doing the right by its actors.
Of course it is possible that Sanada's role ultimately has little to do with SamuraiWorld but it must be stated that Sanada, with his strong background in action, and all things samurai, will be the perfect person to explore Westworld's SamuraiWorld with.
What do you think? Will we see SamuraiWorld in Season 2?