“Westworld” creators Jonathan Nolan and his wife Lisa Joy based the new HBO series on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film. However, the two made sure to put their own fresh spin to the story.
“It’s the ultimate playground for us because we deal with questions about artificial intelligence, which is something I’ve long been fascinated by, but also human intelligence, or the lack thereof, human behavior, and interactive, immersive storytelling,” Nolan told Collider. “It was like a candy store. I’d seen the film when I was a kid and really dug it, but this way into it allowed us to really, really get under the hood of some of these questions.”
As for Joy, she said “Westworld” was a chance to approach two genres - Western and science fiction - from unlikely points of view.
“The tale of the old West is one often told through the lens of the rugged men who conquered it. Of course, we have a plethora of incredible actors playing really unique characters in this, but the spotlight isn’t just on the male experience in the West. It’s also on the women, and there’s a whole eco-system there that was ripe to be explored,” she said.
The show also tackled sexual violence, which, unfortunately, upset a lot of people even before it aired. But HBO programming president Casey Bloys clarified that they are not just targeting women. “I can tell you the violence, it’s not just specific to women. It’s indiscriminate, plenty of men are killed as well,” she said, according to Film School Rejects.
Joy had a better explanation for their need to use violence on the show. “When we were tackling a project about a park with a premise where you can do whatever you want, whatever you desire without impunity or consequence, it seemed like the issue had to be addressed,” she said.
“Westworld” premiered on HBO on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET, reported Variety. It stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, and Thandie Newton, among many others.