If you're an HBO subscriber, there's a good chance you've at least heard of Westworld, the big science fiction drama based on a movie written by Michael Crichton and starring Ed Harries, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Anthony Hopkins and a slew of other big names. The drama has been coming together at the subscription cable network for what feels like forever, and this weekend, HBO finally released its first Westworld footage. It's a doozy. Give it a watch, below.
The preview kicks off with Evan Rachel Wood's character, Dolores, a character who is actually an android who has started to figure out that her life is a deliberate and an elaborate lie. She's sitting in a very cold room in what looks to be an underground bunker and she is asked if she's ever questioned the nature of her reality, which includes wild west costumes, trains, whores, guns, cowboys and plenty more.
It's an interesting welcome to Westworld, a grown-up theme park where adult humans can interact with androids, indulging in their every fantasy and whim. Only, Westworld looks as if it has a glitch, and may not be the fantasy that the humans were hoping for, after all.
The startling new trailer mostly focuses on Dolores and her feelings that the world she is occupying is somehow not right, but HBO intercuts her speaking with moments of violence, moments where bodies are strewn across the floors of saloons and the streets of the theme park. Westworld may have been conceived as a pleasure theater for adults, but the audience will be tuning in right when things begin to go sour in the park.
Westworld was initially expected to hit the schedule in 2015. In fact, we got the first look at the series shortly after it was announced during the summer of 2014. However, there have been problems on the set for quite some time and the new sci fi drama has been slow to move forward. At one point, the network actually shut down production on Westworld so that the script could be tweaked. After Michael Lombardo left HBO, new President Casey Bloys has made a point of getting Westworld back on track, and recently the network announced we will finally see the show on the schedule this fall.
If Westworld ends up being well-liked by fans, it would be a big boon for HBO, which has had trouble with its drama slate in recent years. Shows like Vinyl and The Leftovers have failed to replace popular or critically acclaimed programming like True Blood and Boardwalk Empire, and the second season of True Detective was kind-of a disaster for the network. While comedy is still going strong on HBO, essentially the only big drama the network has right now is Game of Thrones, and we already know that series is in the twilight of its life at this point.