With Game of Thrones set to end in about two years' time, HBO needs to establish their next can't-miss drama sooner rather than later. Sure, the premium network isn't at a loss for popular dramas, but The Leftovers ends next year, Vinyl was canceled, and the future of True Detective is questionable. HBO needs a new show that'll have viewers tuning in every week and eager to talk about it the next day. It's unlikely they'll ever have a series that's quite as monumentally popular as Game of Thrones is right now, but once it wraps they'll need something to fill the void it leaves in their lineup.
That's where Westworld comes in, a new sci-fi series from Lisa Joy (Pushing Daisies) and Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) that had a bit of bumpy ride through production but is set to premiere on HBO this fall. Like the 1973 film on which it's based, Westworld explores a futuristic theme park where visitors can live out their fantasies within the setting of the American Old West. The amusement park is populated by artificial lifeforms programmed to fulfill attendees' every wish. Soon, some of the A.I. become aware their lives aren't what they believed, and well, you probably have an idea of where things go from there.
The HBO series, however, appears to be taking the concept one step further, compiling a theme park populated by artificial lifeforms with the other technological wonders (cloning, virtual reality?). The latest trailer for Westworld (above) introduces the concept of dreams, suggesting it's what the A.I. believe is happening whenever they're removed from Westworld. Give it a watch.
Whatever is actually happening when these androids "dream", it not only deepens the science fiction elements of the series -- something of a necessity given how our own tech has advanced since 1973 -- but it intensifies the mystery surrounding Westworld. Plus, what's happening throughout the rest of the trailer is absolutely wild, implying Westworld will include plenty of violence, sex, and shocking reveals -- which is pretty much on par for a hit HBO show.
Westworld stars Anthony Hopkins as the park's creative director, Ed Harris as the ominously named Man in Black, and Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores Abernathy, the poor woman who learns her entire life has been a lie. Also in the cast are James Marsden as a newly arrived gunslinger pursuing Dolores, Thandie Newton as the Westworld's resident madam, and Jeffrey Wright as the creator of the androids and head of Westworld's programming division.
Westworld premieres Sunday, October 2 @9pm on HBO.