In 1973's Westworld, written and directed by Jurassic Park author and E.R. creator Michael Crichton, the life-like robots at a futuristic resort malfunction and turn on the human guests. For HBO's television adaptation, executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy wanted to "turn the original movie inside-out, with the 'hosts' as the protagonists."
Consciousness is a human trait, but if scientists one day create androids that are nearly identical to humans, it stands to reason that they too would become aware of their surroundings. That's the catalyst behind the upcoming show. "The 'hosts' are discovering that they’ve been created in our image, but beginning to question if 'humanness' is really what they want to aspire to," Nolan explained to Entertainment Weekly. "And given their circumstances, it’s easy to understand why they start to question whether they want to be like us at all…"
The show was originally set to air in 2015, but "amid casting changes, story-retooling, and a production pause" forced HBO to delay it until this fall. Joy thinks the delay was beneficial, allowing them to meet their high-standards. "The show is complicated and ambitious. For the first half of the series we were writing while in production and we needed the time to catch up on scripts," Joy said. "Taking that time allowed us to really finesse all the storylines we set up – deepening character arcs and delving further into the series’ larger mythological questions. By finishing all the episodes before returning to shooting, we were able to concentrate on production in the latter half of the show – making sure the last few episodes were as ambitious on the screen as they were on the page."
The one-hour drama series Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, it explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.
The cast of the 10-episode series includes Anthony Hopkins ("Thor"), Ed Harris ("The Rock"), Evan Rachel Wood ("The Wrestler"), James Marsden ("X-Men"), Thandie Newton ("Mission: Impossible II"), Jeffrey Wright ("Casino Royale"), Tessa Thompson ("Thor: Ragnarok"), Sidse Babett Knudsen ("Let's Get lost"), Jimmi Simpson ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia"), Rodrigo Santoro ("300: Rise of an Empire"), Shannon Woodward ("Raising Hope"), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal ("Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"), Ben Barnes ("The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian"), Simon Quarterman ("The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior"), Angela Sarafyan ("The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2"), Luke Hemsworth ("Kill Me Three Times") and Clifton Collins, Jr. ("Pacific Rim").
Inspired by the motion picture “Westworld,” written and directed by Michael Crichton. Production companies, Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions and Kilter Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. Executive producer/writer/director, Jonathan Nolan; executive producer/writer, Lisa Joy; executive producers, J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, Bryan Burk.
Westworld is coming this October to HBO.