It’s been a heck of a year for Ariana DeBose. After winning the Academy Award for her breakout role in Steven Spielberg’s remake of the classic musical West Side Story, the actor was selected to host this year’s Tony Awards, which take place next month. Now, HBO announced that the Oscar winner has joined Season 4 of the Emmy-winning sci-fi series Westworld, which is finally coming back after a two-year hiatus. The futuristic story centers around “theme parks” in which androids are virtually indistinguishable from human beings, and it’s all fun and (deadly) games until the robots start realizing what’s happening to them.
DeBose has been selected for a recurring role in the series, but details of her character have not been revealed. The main arcs of Season 4 are also being kept secret: the trailer was unveiled yesterday, but it doesn’t reveal much in terms of plot. Instead, the imagery focuses on what is probably gearing up to be Westworld’s most violent year yet, with the soundtrack promising that “you’re gonna reap just what you sow”, with images from the theme park creators and designers in dire situations.
This isn’t the first time that DeBose has participated in a series. She was a regular cast member on Apple TV+’s musical series Schmigadoon!, in which she played a strict teacher trapped in a musical town – and, of course, she sings her heart out. Will Westworld also let the award-winning actor showcase her singing talents in whichever role she plays? The series has certainly had its share of musical moments. It’d be a joy to hear.
Westworld is created by Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) and Lisa Joy (Pushing Daisies). The series premiered in 2016 to immense critical acclaim, as it brought front and center existential and recurring sci-fi stories’ questions such as “what makes us human?”, and “can manufactured beings have a soul?” – all of that paired with a star-studded cast and impressive production values. The story is based on the 1973 film of the same name, written and directed by Michael Crichton.
The returning cast from Season 4 of Westworld includes Thandiwe Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Luke Hemsworth, Aaron Paul, Angela Sarafyan, and, surprisingly, Evan Rachel Wood, whose storyline seemed to have come to a close by the end of Season 3. The trailer hints at a possible new version of her character Dolores, but we’ll have to wait some weeks to find out what’s going on with her.
HBO premieres Season 4 of Westworld on June 26. You’ll also be able to stream it on HBO Max.