Jonathan Nolan directs HBO's first ad during the big game in 20 years

Westworld (TV series)

HBO has created its first Super Bowl ad in 20 years.

The premium network is preparing to reveal the first full trailer for Westworld season 2 during Super Bowl LII this Sunday, EW has learned.

We hear the trailer for the AI thriller is directed by series co-creator Jonathan Nolan, and some of the footage will be exclusive to the trailer (so not all the footage will be from the upcoming season). HBO has only purchased time during the big game twice before, in 1997 and 1998, for spots that touted the network as a whole. Given the pricey Super Bowl placement and that Nolan created the ad himself, we have a suspicion this trailer is going to be pretty special.

Credit: HBO

Check out the first teaser photo above, which shows a rather intense looking Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) along with … something … behind him. The figure looks like an unfinished host yet, for some reason, is standing upright and looming.

The acclaimed sci-fi drama hasn’t officially announced a premiere date yet — only that the show will air this year — and that information is likely coming soon as well. HBO previously released a Westworld season 2 teaser during Comic-Con last year, but that video (below) was only culled from the first couple weeks of filming. Westworld has wrapped production for season 2 so Nolan had access to an entire season of footage for this one.

With Game of Thrones taking the year off, Westworld is poised to be HBO’s big genre showcase series this year. And given Westworld’s strong showing in the Emmy nominations for its premiere season (picking up five primetime ceremony nominations including best drama), the series is likely to have plenty of contenders during the next award season too. Westworld fans have had a longer than usual wait for new episode as the first debuted in the fall of 2016. Nolan and co-creator Lisa Joy have explained they wanted to devote time to writing the entire second season of the twisty and complex drama before filming began last summer.

For a refresher, here is the spoiler-filled Westworld season 1 catch-up (or watch the pilot for free here):

And for those wanting to go way back, here is one of HBO’s previous Super Bowl ads (which is strong on 20th-century high-concept Super Bowl commercial nostalgia but utterly lacking in killer robots):

Westworld is set in an adult Wild West theme park in the future where guests roleplay fantasies with perfectly lifelike “hosts” (androids). Season 1 — which is currently streaming on HBO’s online services, Go and Now — told the story of the hosts gradually gaining sentience and rebelling against their human masters. In addition to Wright, the series stars Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, James Marsden and Jimmi Simpson.

Episode Recaps

Westworld (TV series)

Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's ambitious sci-fi thriller is based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name.

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