HBO’s new sci-fi series “Westworld” is poised to be the next big thing on television, and there are several reasons why it can even edge out the current top contender “Game of Thrones,” which also belongs to HBO.
For one thing, the “Westworld” cast members are already big names in the industry, according to Collider. Sir Anthony Hopkins from “Silence of the Lambs” is leading the pack, along with “Run All Night” star Ed Harris and Evan Rachel Wood from “Into the Forest.”
Other actors such as Conleth Hill, Michelle Fairley, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden and Thandie Newton also round up the cast nicely.
One of the biggest challenges of acting for “Westworld” is shifting between human and robotic expressions, but Wood said the cast has managed superbly. “I think we settled on this place of subtlety,” Wood said. “Those were the things that made the differences between the Hosts (robots) and the humans very unsettling.”
“You can’t really tell them apart until there’s just one slight little movement, or shift, or freeze, that just throws you off completely, and those are the moments in the show that made me slightly scared, but really fun to do,” she continued.
The next reason why the series holds so much promise is because it will make audiences reflect on morality and human nature: who are we if no one is watching? How far do we go to fulfill our desires? Will we destroy others just to get ahead?
“It’s questioning where does life begin,” executive producer Jonathan Nolan explained. "What characterizes the importance of life, whether it is a human who is dictated by biological impulses, and neuron synapsing, and the double helixes of DNA entwined within our bodies, or whether it’s an artificial being that’s coded with zeros and ones.”
Lastly, it took over 20 years for the creative geniuses behind “Westworld” to figure the series out. Nolan and “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams met with Michael Crichton two decades ago, with the plan to make an adaptation of the original “Westworld” film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. But in the end, Abrams realized it cannot be done and acknowledged that it would be best translated for television.
“Fast-forward two decades later — it occurs to J.J. that it’s not a movie, it’s a series,” Nolan said, adding, “And a key aspect of that is this idea that you take the narrative and you invert it, and you make it about the hosts.”
Meanwhile, Nolan earlier told Vulture that they were very motivated in producing a good show, so eager fans can expect to be blown away with the final result. “Nothing good is easy,” Nolan said. “HBO is holding themselves to a high standard. But they didn’t have to encourage us to be ambitious. We were ambitious from the beginning.”
“Westworld” will be released on HBO on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m., reported Variety.