Tao Okamoto

Casting: Westworld Season 2 gets four new stars, plus The Purge and Terminator make key adds

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Apr 10, 2018

Even as Season 2 of Westworld ramps up for its big debut, details about the show’s imminent return have been hard to come by. But with less than two weeks to go before the first episode hits, at last we’re finding out a few of the basics — like whom HBO has added to the cast.

Deadline reports the upcoming Season 2 premiere will begin the rollout of four all-new cast members, as well as ushering the return of a now-recurring character from Season 1. Tao Okamoto (The Wolverine), Kiki Sukezane (Heroes: Reborn), Zahn McClarnon (The Son), and Julia Jones (Wind River) all come on board as new cast additions for Season 2, with Martin Sensmeir (Magnificent Seven) returning in a recurring role.

Aside from brief glimpses in preview trailers, there’s no firm word on how the show will spin the four new characters. Okamoto will play someone named Hanaryo, while Sukezane is playing a character named Sakura. While those character names may suggest each is involved in Season 2’s spotlight on Shogun World, we may just have to wait until the premiere to see what HBO has up its sleeve.

Similarly enigmatic is McClarnon, whom A&E viewers got to know as a rather complex Native American character who helps raise a kidnapped American youth in The Son. On Westworld, he’ll play the role of Akecheta, who’s showed up in the preview clips riding a horse in full face paint. 

That, speculates Entertainment Weekly, could signal McClarnon’s involvement in Westworld’s semi-lawless Ghost Nation tribe, which targeted Thandie Newton's Maeve in the first season, spurring an ongoing investigation into her daughter’s fate. At least we’re more certain about Sensmeir’s role: He’s set to return as Native American warrior Wanahton.

With so many unknowns, it’s a good thing we don’t have long to wait before the pieces start falling into place: Season 2 of Westworld debuts on HBO on April 22.


 

Westworld isn’t the only project that’s picking up steam with new cast members. The Purge, which will air on both USA and SYFY, just picked up three new additions for its growing cast: Lili Simmons (Ray Donovan), Hannah Anderson (New Mutants) and Lee Tergesen (OZ).

Simmons will play Lila, “a young, rich, and rebellious, woman who refuses to fit in with the pro-Purge socialite crowd,” according to an official announcement. Anderson will play Jenna, an anti-Purge advocate “devoted to charitable causes who is accustomed to locking down on Purge Night.” Tergesen has been cast as Joe, “an armored, masked, and seemingly ordinary man who drives through town, intervening acts of Purge violence while listening to the taped lectures of a motivational life coach.” Development on the weekly series is still early, so stay tuned for updates.


 

Finally, the James Cameron-produced reboot of The Terminator has added Diego Boneta (Scream Queens, Rock of Ages), who, according to The Hollywood Reporter, will play a still-enigmatic human character alongside returning stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The reboot is being directed by Tim Miller, and is currently slated for a Nov. 22, 2019 release date.