After months of rumor and innuendo, there’s finally been some movement on HBO’s Westworld. The series has taken a long and circuitous route to television since its announcement last summer, with production problems and script issues temporarily halting filming earlier this year. While producers and series creators Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) and Lisa Joy (Burn Notice) have dispelled the notion that the problems the series was creating were anything to worry about, it began to feel as though it might never see the light of day.
Based on the 1973 movie written and directed by Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park), Westworld was announced with much fanfare by HBO, who promised viewers yet another groundbreaking television series. Despite taking longer than anticipated to work out all of the kinks and wrinkles of the complex plot – which features an adult amusement park where humans interact with lifelike artificial intelligence in order to live out their dangerous wild west fantasies – the series is recently began wrapping up its production, pushing it one step forward to its premiere, which will come sooner than was previously anticipated.
After months of inactivity, the official Westworld Twitter account has posted that the TV series will be among the shows premiering in fall 2016 on HBO. While a specific date has not yet given, the news is exciting for fans who’ve been in anticipation for the series for nearly a year. Previously, it had been assumed that we might not see the series until early 2017, especially considering the problems that had beset the production.
There can be no doubt that the sheer scope of the project was ambitious in itself. Being described as a 10-hour movie more than a television series, Westworld has attracted an impressive cast, including the likes of Ed Harris, Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, and Evan Rachel Wood, just to name a few. Still, the prospect of taking a beloved sci-fi movie and updating it is no easy task, and the project’s very ambition is what caused the problems and delays in production.
Nolan and Joy, as well as executive producer J.J. Abrams, have said that the production halt was a result of everyone working hard to ensure that they got everything right on Westworld. Normally, these kinds of delays can be indicators of poor quality, but in this case it’s somewhat heartening. The thematic complexities of the story, in addition to its scope, are such that it’s important to make sure things are in order so that it gets knocked out of the park.
While it’s possible that this is merely Hollywood spin designed to alleviate the mountain of bad press swirling around the production, there sheer level of talent involved in the series makes it difficult to believe that Westworld could wind up being a complete bust. Nolan and Joy may have been somewhat hasty in their initial plans for the series, but sometimes you’ve got to step back and make sure all your t’s are crossed and I’s dotted.
Westworld premieres this fall on HBO.