Production was halted on HBO’s new J.J. Abrams-produced, sci-fi sorta-remake series Westworld early this year, which caused a lot of concern among fans of robot weirdness.
Abrams told Fortune that he was not rushing it because of business matters, and HBO was giving him more time: “That is never a bad move,” he said.
Now that co-creator Jonathan Nolan (brother of Christopher Nolan) has had enough time to make the show – about robots running amok at an amusement park of the future – the best it could be, HBO has finally released an intense trailer that makes the show look like a must-see.
Abrams is a big fan of Twilight Zone-esque stories that explore technology and philosophy, and adapting the 1973 movie into a big-budget TV series seems like he and Nolan will just go off on that kind of thing. The trailer is filled with spooky sci-fi craziness, and the delay makes it worth the wait.
Between the “Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” line or the “Are you real?” “Well if you can’t tell, does it matter?” exchanges, the story is the perfect vehicle to explore consciousness and artificial intelligence in a way only the meeting of the Abrams and Nolan minds can. The teaser itself is cryptic, but heres the most WTF moments we’re looking forward to seeing.
5. Inhuman Robots
Anything involving something touching an eye without the person reacting is inherently creepy, so this image of the empty stare of star Evan Rachel Wood’s robot character drives home the idea that there is something not right about the robots of Westworld, which were created by Anthony Hopkins’s Dr. Robert Ford character.
4. Piles of Robo-Bodies
When the shit hits the fan, the humans of Westworld will most likely want to cover up all of their artificially intelligent mistakes. Images of piles of bodies recall some of the darkest episodes of human history, so playing with that imagery of the robots being discarded puts its own spin on that macabre iconography.
3. The Real Life “Vitruvian Man”
Da Vinci would be honored and probably pretty terrified that the well meaning folks behind Westworld used an image akin to his famous “Vitruvian Man” drawing for what looks like their logo. If you look closely in the image it also seems to be the way the robot exteriors are fashioned before they’re given sentience. This is another example of the show playing with recognizable iconography, and it’ll only get more in depth from here once we can dig through the actual episodes of the show.
2. That Weird Map Room
This the stuff of Bond villains, and it’s great. We assume this is some kind of control room where the people behind the scenes of the twisted Disneyland-like Westworld park can observe their guests live out their wild west fantasies with humanoid robots. The show is unique in that it’ll get to blend some cutting edge technology in that world with gorgeous western movie tropes. The juxtaposition of gun-slinging ten gallon hat-wearing robots is as powerful as it was in the 1973 original.
1. Robot-on-Human Carnage
Westworld most definitely doesn’t subscribe to Asimov’s three laws of robotics as the scenes where what looks like Wood’s character escapes breaks rule number 1: “A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” It’ll be interesting to see how the show expands upon this idea over the course of the first season arc as opposed to a more self contained feature length movie. We cant wait.
Westworld has a crazy-talented cast including Wood, Hopkins, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Simon Quarterman, Angela Sarafyan, Luke Hemsworth and Clifton Collins, Jr.
Theres no premiere date yet, but it should hit HBO sometime this year.