Westworld: the new big-budget TV epic you need to see

Remember the original Westworld movie, first released in 1973? It combined freaky sci-fi existentialism with cowboys, guns, horses and shootouts. And it was great

The world of television is currently in the habit of remaking and rebooting a bucket load of cult classic films (see here) for the small screen, and Westworld is the latest in question.

And with a big budget in place and a slick sense of style, it actually looks really good,

Rumours of delayed (or even shut down) production have been battered away by the people involved, and the show is set to air at some point in later this year.

Credit should be given to the abrupt and professional way that creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have dealt with the questioning around the subject (“f***ing nonsense“), and it’s good to see the release date eventually on the horizon.

The original movie debuted in 1973, so it’s fair to say its cult following will be excited to see what a TV show with 43 years of waiting behind it looks like – no pressure guys.


The original film followed Peter Martin, and his trip to the Delos theme park, in which visitors can jump into a simulation of ancient worlds (Medieval World, Roman World, and Wild West World).

Within these android powered simulations, Peter romps through saloons, taverns and baths with his friend John Blane in West World, enjoying adventures quintessential to the time period: guests are encouraged to engage in a Mexican standoff with a robotic gunslinger, which is programmed to lose the fight every time.

At least at first (DUN DUN DUUUUUN!).

All goes wrong when power failures sporadically hit the park, and as the amusements become less amusing and more terrifying, Peter and Blane must find a way to escape.

YouTube Westworld trailer

HBO have taken the concept for Michael Crichton’s 70s sci-fi flick, thrown it in the reboot-oven in Hollywood, and made a full-scale television show out of it, with Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan receiving credit for creating.

And it looks surprisingly epic: not to mention intriguing, moody and full of incident.

Evidently it’s going to be primarily set in West World, meaning most of the characters are going to be robotic in some way or another.

But with Ed Harris and Anthony freaking Hopkins making an appearance, it’s difficult to imagine anything about the acting being robotic (see what we did there?).

J. J. Abrams is also an Executive Producer on the project, so maybe this series will fill that Star Wars shaped hole in your heart until Episode VIII.

Sure, there’ll be less: “I AM YOUR FATHER”, and more: “DRAW YOU YELLA BELLY SON’F A…”, but you can get used to that.


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