HBO ‘Westworld’ Boss on Delay: Like ‘Shooting ‘Alien’ and ‘Unforgiven’ Simultaneously’
HBO’s Westworld has had its share of production setbacks (as of publishing, without a premiere date as well), but showrunner Jonathan Nolan insists that the sci-fi drama hasn’t undergone any re-calibration, only that the massive production requirements proved significantly more complicated than HBO thought.
Speaking to io9, Nolan reiterated that the shutdown in production gave he and co-creator Lisa Joy time to write the remaining scripts, given that they’d started production with only a few complete episodes to shoot. The combination of Western period piece and sci-fi also meant that near-every aspect of production had to be built, designed or bought, significantly adding to prep time:
Nothing that I have done prepared me for the sheer avalanche [of production requirements]. The truth is, what we’re doing there is a 10-hour movie. It’s not really a TV series. When they say ‘It’s not TV, it’s HBO,’ they’re really not kidding.
We’re doing a period Western, and a science fiction [movie]. Basically, we’re shooting ‘Alien,’ ‘Days of Heaven’ and ‘Unforgiven’ simultaneously, and then cutting them all together … It’s just a massive, massive undertaking.
Not only that, but Nolan expressed frustration with some of the production’s media coverage:
I’ve read a lot of bullshit about this show. I’ve read more fucking nonsense about this project than anything I’ve ever been involved in—which is kind of amazing, given how much nonsense I read about the Batman movies.
Bad Robot’s Westworld remakes the 1973 tale as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.” Person of Interest creator and The Dark Knight co-writer Nolan wrote the script with Burn Notice scribe Lisa Joy, with Nolan directing the pilot and finale, and Michelle MacLaren helming the penultimate outing. Nolan and Joy executive produce with J.J Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk.
The new series features among its cast Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, X-Men star James Marsden, The Hunger Games and Boardwalk Empire star Jeffrey Wright, Thandie Newton, Raising Hope lead Shannon Woodward, 300 star Rodrigo Santoro, Angela Sarafyan, Simon Quarterman, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Jimmi Simpson, Lili Simmons and Clifton Collins, Jr.
For those unfamiliar with the original 1973 Yul Brynner-James Brolin film, Westworld told the story of a future resort wherein guests pay to live out time period fantasies brought to life by sophisticated human-like androids, before the robots began malfunctioning and killing the resort’s crew. The film spawned the sequel Futureworld, and eventually the short-lived ‘80s TV series Beyond Westworld.
Check out the teaser again below, while we wait for updates and an official premiere date.