HBO is betting on Jonathan Nolan's Westworld to be the next Game of Thrones
TV fanatics have been waiting for Westworld to debut on TV ever since Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy announced the remake of the 1973 film of the same name that was directed by sci-fi novelist Michael Crichton.
The new HBO series combines two hot-selling genres of westerns and science fiction to create a winning formula: The series centers on the titular Wild West-themed amusement park, in which paying guests interact with increasingly lifelike hosts that are artificially intelligent androids.
Westworld is produced by Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions and Kilter Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. The series is executive produced, written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, executive produced and written by Lisa Joy, and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, Bryan Burk.
Here's what we know so far about HBO's next big series:
The park was created by Dr. Anthony Ford (HBO) and is run by a corporation which seems to have an agenda of its own.
The hosts are programmed by a team of engineers headed by Dr. Bernie Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) and managed by Theresa Cullen (Sidse Babbett Knudsen), Westworld's Quality Assurance head. The storylines within the park stem from the Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman), the park's programmer. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) is the oldest host in Westworld. The hosts are programmed against hurting the guests.
The Hollywood Reporter has reported that the overall budget for the 10 episode project is in the $100 million range. Sources peg the budget for the 90-minute Westworld pilot alone in the $25 million range, including re-shoots, with some costs rolled to episode two as parts of the series debut were moved out of the premiere. “The production value of this thing is preposterous,” Westworld’s executive producer J.J. Abrams told The Hollywood Reporter. “But it's HBO. That's what they do."
It is widely speculated that one of the reasons HBO is investing so much in Westworld is that the Game of Thrones is going to come out with its last season in 2017, after which HBO is scared it will loose out viewership to Netflix and Amazon.
The Independent reported that the premiere of the pilot episode attracted 3.3 million viewers; compared to the Game of Thrones debut which attracted 2.2 million.
StarWorld Premiere HD is screening WestWorld at 10pm everyday.