After earning lots of buzz and stirring up some controversy last year, Amazon’s acclaimed The Man in the High Castle is soon set to return for Season 2. Though specifics are still somewhat scarce, the cast and crew recently dropped some hints as to what fans can expect from future episodes. Here’s everything we know about the alternative reality drama’s second season.
1. It will continue to use source material as a “spiritual guide”
The show, which provides an alternate look at history if the Allies had lost World War II, will continue to take inspiration from Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, although — like the freshman season — it won’t be a completely straightforward adaptation. “The series doesn’t follow the same narrative progression as the book and it’s sort of jumped around,” executive producer Isa Dick Hackett said, per IGN. “It’s always been more of a spiritual guide, and it will continue to be so going forward. Though there were things from the book that we didn’t get to in Season 1 that we’ll now get to in the second season.”
That includes meeting the man in the high castle himself. “We’ll literally meet him,” Hackett clarified, “like we do in the novel.”
The character’s introduction is teased in the first official trailer for the upcoming season (seen above), which debuted at Comic-Con. The clip shows a camera moving down the path as we hear the words, “every step I take is a step closer to.” Each character then gives a different answer, saying: “finding the man,” “saving my country,” and eventually, “the man in the high castle.” A figure of a man is then seen at the end of the clip.
Update 11/15/16: A new full-length trailer has just been released, seen below:
2. We’ll meet some new faces
Bella Heathcote (Fifty Shades Darker) has joined Season 2 as Nicole Becker, a young, Berlin-born filmmaker who will cross paths with Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank). According to Gizmodo, Heathcote described her character as a Nazi who is “more into her films than she is into Nazi ideals.”
Callum Keith Rennie (Into the Forest) has booked a series regular role on the second season and will play Gary Connell, leader of the West Coast Resistance movement. A former convict, Gary is now in charge of the sometimes violent counter assaults against the Pacific States and the Reich of the West Coast.
Sebastian Roché (The Originals, General Hospital) has also been cast in a recurring role on the second season. He will play Martin Hausmann, a wealthy, high-ranking Nazi official based in Berlin and the biological but estranged father of Joe. Though he is sincere in his desire to reconnect with his son, his focus is the extermination of the enemies of the Reich.
Most recently, Tate Donovan has also been set to appear on Season 2 of The Man in the High Castle. He will play a character named George Dixon, a mysterious figure from Juliana’s (Alexa Davalos) past.
[Update 10/3/16:] According to Deadline, Tzi Ma has booked a recurring role on Season 2 as General Onoda, an intelligent, nuanced and excellent soldier from a working-class background. The site describes Onoda as “a big personality with a large appetite for life” who enjoys women, food and drink, but can also have a bad temper. He also has a history with Trade Minister Tagomi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and is depending on his support and connections.
[Update 11/30/16:] Per Deadline, Stephen Root has been cast to the fill the titular role of “the man in the high castle.” He will play the mysterious figure of the Resistance movement who collects the films that seem to depict alternate versions of reality. See more of his character in the video, above.
3. It will take an even darker turn
After the Season 1 chaos that left the characters scattered in all directions, The Man in the High Castle will continue to pick up the pace in Season 2. Each of the characters will be facing their own struggles for survival.
Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) will find herself in some tricky circumstances this season, as evidenced by one teaser (above) that shows her escaping from the trunk of a moving car and dodging bullets as she makes her way to safety.
“She’s having to be a chameleon in order to survive,” Davalos explained at Comic-Con, per TVLine, adding that the character finds herself in some “seriously compromising circumstances” and that she’s “in a very surprising place at the moment … things have taken a turn.”
Meanwhile, Frank is seen once again being caught in the crosshairs of a world post-Nazi victory. “I think in Season 2 you really see [Frank] take matters into his own hands and kind of forge a new relationship with the resistance,” said Rupert Evans, who plays Frank, per Entertainment Weekly. “He departs from his previous ideas about how to live in this place, this totalitarian state. So his life changes dramatically in Season 2.”
4. We’ll learn (a little) more about that season ending scene with Tagomi
At the end of last season, we saw Tagomi seemingly traveling to our reality, in which the Allies won World War II. As Hackett confirmed at this year’s Comic-Con, that really did happen and was not just a dream sequence, as some speculated.
That being said, fans shouldn’t expect to get answers right away. “I was looking for such an answer in the first episode to why that happened,” Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, who plays Tagomi, said at the panel, per Gizmodo. Instead he says season two’s plan is to reveal things by “not overblowing it and letting it work itself through several episodes and build through another dimension.”
He elaborated more to Entertainment Weekly, saying, “I think everybody has an alternate reality. It’s just a matter of whether they question enough. I think the less we question, the less we realize that there’s more than just one way to look at things,” he said. “Tagomi is definitely someone that comes from a world and is on his own journey to find an answer within that world, but then the journey takes him to another world. It’s a Chinese box.”
5. There have been some behind-the-scenes changes
In May, showrunner Frank Spotnitz abruptly exited the drama due to creative clashes with Amazon. Following his sudden departure, the Vancouver-shot drama went into a two week hiatus. No new showrunner was anointed and the other producers and members of the creative team took over his duties.
Following the change, Amazon released this statement: “Given the ambition and scope of the series, the decision has been made to locate all creative efforts on The Man in the High Castle to the West Coast; Frank Spotnitz will remain as an executive producer and step back from showrunner. His responsibilities will be managed by our deep and talented bench of producers. We are enormously grateful to him for bringing our customers on one of the most watched original shows on Amazon Video and we are excited about the team’s vision for season two.”
6. The show will branch out to other parts of the world
During the first season, viewers were wondering whether the series would give a closer glimpse at what’s going on in other parts of the world.
As executive producer, Dan Percival revealed at Comic-Con, that the question is one that will be explored further in Season 2. While a storyline in North Africa was axed in order to focus more time on the drama’s current landscape, the show will travel to Berlin this time around. According to the panel, that’s where we’ll meet Heathcote’s character for the first time.
A new poster for the upcoming season has just been released below:
The Man in the High Castle’s 10-episode second season will premiere on December 16.
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