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For more than a year, Westworld fans have wondered what’s in store for “Samurai World,” the unofficial name for the apparent new park, in which sword-swinging hosts thrive. Now, we have some new information — and right out of the gate, we’re starting by scrapping the unofficial name.
The official title for the new park is “Shogun World,” though there’s some debate in terms of the spelling: “Shogunworld” and “ShogunWorld” are both in play as contenders. Until further clarification, we’ll space the words out.
Little else is known about the mysterious new park that’s set to open up the expanding universe of Westworld in the forthcoming second season, premiering April 22. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the first season finale, showrunners Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy opened up on their reasons for why they’ve included this particular park in their adaptation of Michael Crichton’s 1973 film.
“The reason we went with the shogun, Imperial Japanese motif for that world is in large part because of the beautiful relationship you had between the golden age Westerns and the golden age samurai films,” said Nolan. “As soon as Akira Kurosawa would make a film, it would get remade with cowboys. The idea that those stories worked in two very distinct genres and languages, and the relationship between those genres, to me was irresistible as an homage to how Kurosawa was responsible for some of the greatest Westerns of all time.”
“It’s wonderful to work with actors we haven’t worked with before,” added Joy. “This allows us a lot of access to Asian actors and the Asian community, which is very important to me as part-Asian myself.”
Between Westworld proper and now Shogun World, the increasingly self-aware (not to mention the increasingly violent) hosts have a much bigger sandbox to play in in season two. What’s more, the road doesn’t end with these two parks. As previously reported, there are at least four other additional parks beyond Westworld and Shogun World, their identities completely under wraps for now. Will we see them revealed in season two, or is that a matter for a future iteration of the series? For now at least, the human inhabitants of the Delos parks have more pressing matters to consider.
EW was first to report the name.
What do you think of Shogun World as the official name for the new Westworld park? Sound off in the comments and keep following THR.com/Westworld for more coverage.
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