[Editor’s note: Spoilers for the Raised by Wolves Season 1 finale follow below.]
The HBO Max original series Raised by Wolves caught a lot of people’s attention at first because Ridley Scott directed the first two episodes, but that attention was maintained because of the show’s delightfully strange story that just kept getting weirder and weirder. This is a compliment – a lot of shows suffer from a lack of ambition, but Raised by Wolves burned through a ton of story in its first few episodes and then carved out a really fascinating arc for its lead characters, especially the android Mother (Amanda Collin). Indeed, Mother’s arc found her going from sentient atom bomb to caregiver to emotional being to mother of a literal snake baby all in the span of one season, but despite the more wild plot twists, the show grounded Mother’s story with an emotionally devastating journey. She wanted so badly to change her nature, to be a true mother, only to discover she had been duped and gave birth to a being that may only cause destruction.
The end of the Season 1 finale found Mother and Father trying to kill said snake baby by driving a lander into the center of the mysterious planet Kepler-22b, only to come out the other side into the coveted tropical zone. And the last we saw of this snake baby, it had grown into a full-blown monster and was slithering into the ether. All of this sets up a highly anticipated Raised by Wolves Season 2, which has already been ordered by HBO Max.
Collider’s own Steve Weintraub recently spoke with showrunner Aaron Guzikowski about Raised by Wolves, and during the course of their interview Guzikowski not only answered some burning finale questions, but also teased what fans can expect in Season 2 of the series.
First and foremost, Guzikowski reiterated that there is a five- or six-season arc planned for Raised by Wolves as a whole, and he already knows how the show will end assuming HBO Max allows the show to go on for that long. He also revealed that he’s “fairly well into” the outlining phase of Season 2 and is working on the scripts.
But just because the show is now moving full-speed ahead doesn’t mean we also won’t be looking backwards, as the showrunner revealed that we might even get a look at what Earth is like in present day:
“There’ll be more flashbacks [in Season 2] and perhaps some present day Earth peeks as well to see what might be going on there after everything’s over, because there are still necromancers on Earth. They were left behind, most of them. The Mithraic obviously didn’t want to bring any with them. They were done with them, didn’t trust them. So they left them on Earth except for the one they found waiting for them on Kepler-22b.”
Back on Kepler-22b, however, we’ll see another pentagonal temple like the one that Marcus (Travis Fimmel) and his crew found and worshipped in Season 1, perhaps down in the tropical zone:
“I can say that there are more of them according to the scriptures. There’s five of them, and in each of them is supposed to be hidden the answers to the sort of the ultimate Mithraic mysteries, the thing everybody’s trying to get to the bottom of. But beyond that, I can’t tell you too much more. Except that we’ll see another in Season 2, and I think we’ll get a lot more kind of into what it is and how it works, and all that good stuff.”
The pentagonal temple is where Marcus first heard the voice of Sol, which slowly turned him from an atheist into a full-fledged zealot. Guzikowski teased we may learn more about that voice in the second season:
“It’s interesting, Marcus, because he was a little bit crazy when he got [on Kepler-22b]. He was already a former child soldier who then changed his face and spent 12 years pretending to be this religious captain and has all of these issues to begin with, and then he starts hearing the voice and goes where he goes. But I think that’s kind of a clue, the idea that if you really look at it, there is some connection to be made in terms of who hears the voice and when, and how many… Really, I think only one person can hear it at a time.”
As for Marcus’ journey in Season 2, Guzikowski said the character will redefine himself – though for good or bad is unknown:
“He’s gone as crazy as one can go. So the question is where do you go from there and then what’s the next step? He’s kind of been broken down to nothing. He grew up on Earth as a child soldier. He was completely powerless and he got to this planet and suddenly he was hearing a voice and everyone was worshiping him and he lost his mind, essentially. And in the process, he’s kind of been broken down into his most essential elements, as it were. So I think in Season 2, we’re going to see a sort of rebirth, as it were. He’s going to kind of redefine himself in Season 2.”
The tropical zone appears to be a new setting for the second season, and Guzikowski teased the different properties that this planet seems to have in different regions:
“I would say very much like Earth, every region of this planet is very different. So though we know a lot of what there is to know about the region we spent Season 1 in, the rest of the planet is quite mysterious in terms of all that. Also, I think one could imagine that other things in terms of the hallucinations, the voice, so on and so forth, when you moved to another part of the planet, those things are going to shift as well. We’re dealing with things that seem supernatural and maybe they are, but I think everything also has a technological aspect to it that you could apply here in a sort of really calculated way.”
In another tease of where Season 2 is going, Guzikowski revealed they’ll be changing shooting locations within South Africa, where they shot Season 1:
“The one thing I can say is that Season 2 will take place in a very different region on the planet. So a lot of the lessons that I learned in [physically making] Season 1 won’t even apply. So it’s kind of like I’ve been in California in Season 1, and now I’m going to Michigan for Season 2. The climate is very different, and the geography and all that good stuff.”
Story-wise, there’s an added wrinkle to the plot going into Season 2 in that a ship full of atheists showed up at the end of Season 1, although Guzikowski revealed that the ship was actually stolen and is full of Mithraic tech that might come in handy:
“We also kind of got the impression that the atheists weren’t as advanced as the Mithraic. The Mithraic had all of these quantum gravity propulsion machines… That stuff was in their scriptures as well. One thing I will say about Season 2 is that this ship was actually built by the Mithraic. It was hijacked while it was under construction on Earth. So the people aboard the ship are in fact atheists, but again, in terms of the technology, it’s more Mithraic stuff.”
Guzikowski said that he hopes Raised by Wolves Season 2 starts filming relatively soon, although COVID-19 makes it a bit unpredictable as to when, exactly, they’ll be able to begin production. He did note that they’re adding more cast members for the second season, so expect some new characters to arrive. One big difference, however, may be fewer episodes – Guzikowski said they’re considering doing eight episodes instead of 10 for Season 2:
“It remains to be seen, but it was always going to be 10 for Season 1. Season 2, we’ll see. It could potentially be eight, but we’ll see. Eight or 10. I think eight is the new 10 now is what I’m hearing for streaming… I think eight is enough. I think that’s about as short as I could go and still feel like we’re telling a complete novel of a story. Because the show I did previously, The Red Road I did many years ago, we only did six-episode seasons. Which was cool, but it always felt a little too short. It was almost just kind of like, you just need one or two more to really hammer it home. It always felt like you were being kind of pulled off the stage a little too early there. But I think eight is kind of a good number. But 10 is good too.”
Ridley Scott has expressed his desire to return to direct some Season 2 episodes, but Guzikowski said that may not be feasible with the filmmaker’s current schedule as he’s now back at work finishing up The Last Duel:
“Ridley’s extraordinarily busy right now. He’s finishing his movie. I think he’s got a movie to go do right after that. He has expressed interest, but I don’t know that the schedule is going to work out, but who the heck knows. For directors, we’re figuring that out now. We’re going to hopefully have some clarity soon, but right now we don’t.”
For more on Raised by Wolves, check out our full breakdown of the finale episode. Look for our full interview with Guzikowski on Collider soon.