HBO’s Westworld has gone through no shortage of casting shakeups over the course of its first three seasons. While it’s still got some of its original cast, such as Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, and Jeffrey Wright, much of its characters in the first two seasons have been gone once the show left the titular park. Surprisingly, one of the OG cast members is making a return for season four.
During the ATX Festival over the weekend, series co-creator Lisa Joy revealed that James Marsden would be making his return, surprising everyone at the show’s panel by appearing alongside Joy and other cast members, including Wright, Wood, and Luke Hemsworth (Ashley Stubbs). “Sometimes you have to go away to come back,” joked Marsden. In the first two seasons, he played park cowboy Teddy Flood, who was deeply in love with Dolores (Wood) before taking his own life after seeing her murder theme park guests. Having been away from the series for so long, he’s excited to come back and inhabit this sci-fi world again. “It’s an amazing thing to be a part of and see where the story goes,” he continued. “From the beginning, I didn’t know where it was all gonna go but I’m glad to see it now.”
With the show now in the real world, Marsden will be playing a currently unnamed character who serves as a love interest for Wood’s new character, Christina. Dolores died during the finale of the previous season, but Joy loved working with Wood so much that she knew she wanted to keep the actor around. She and co-creator Jonathan Nolan informed Wood of Dolores’ end during the production of season three, and the trio discussed what that meant for the actor going forward. With the promise that she’d be back, Wood recalled the conversation as, “’You’ll look a lot like Evan Rachel Wood’, but I’m not me.”
We got a brief glimpse of Christina towards the end of the first trailer for season four back in May. Wood went on to describe her as “a normal woman living in a big city just trying to make it as a writer.” She also added that “nothing ever happens to her [Christina],” which means that some shit is absolutely about to go down for her. How Christina will link up with the rest of the show’s cast is currently in the dark, but no doubt this will also pull Marsden’s new hunk into the orbit of her misadventures. And this is assuming Christina’s as new as she’s said to be. With how much Westworld loves trying to outsmart its audience, this character could easily be Dolores doing a long con.
Westworld’s fourth season will premiere on HBO and HBO Max on June 26. Peep the creepy new key art down below.
Want more io9 news? Check out when to expect the latest Marvel and Star Wars releases, what’s next for the DC Universe on film and TV, and everything you need to know about House of the Dragon and Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power.