The past five years have been very good for HBO. Now in its sixth season, Game of Thrones has attracted a record number of viewers to the cable network, along with a slew of critical praise and awards. Girls still ranks as one of the best and funniest comedies on TV. And True Detective recently captivated audiences with its ambitious acting, cinematography, writing, and direction.
In fact, most of HBO's TV series are known for making the most of their budget and talent. And judging by the new teaser trailer above, the same can be said for the network's next series, Westworld. Based on the 1973 film of the same name, which was written and directed by Michael Crichton, Westworld promises to finally bring HBO into the science fiction genre.
Created for HBO by Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) and Lisa Joy, Westworld is actually just as much a western as it is a science fiction thriller. Anthony Hopkins, James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris and more star in the new drama, which tells the story of an amusement park (meant to look like the American Old West) where robots are programmed to act out any fantasy or scenario that visitors desire. That is, until something goes wrong.
As seen in the teaser, Wood plays a Western girl who discovers her entire life is an elaborate lie orchestrated by Westworld's creative director Dr. Robert Ford (Hopkins). Naturally, this realization probably won't sit well with Dolores, putting Marsden's gunslinger directly in her crosshairs.
While on the surface Westworld appears to be part Total Recall and part Jurassic Park, Nolan has said that the show will actually explore the nature of humanity, the impact of technology and a lot of other interesting ideas. Whereas the original movie followed the humans as they tried to stay alive, the TV version instead plans to focus more on the robots' POV.
It's safe to say that if Westworld were simply a continuation of the movie, HBO wouldn't have been interested in bringing it to TV. But as it is, with Nolan vowing to "make the most ambitious, subversive, f–ked-up television series," HBO could have another big hit on its hands.
Westworld will air on HBO in 2016.