HBO has released the first full-length teaser trailer for its upcoming original series, Westworld, based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name. The premise is simple: In the near future, an adult amusement park opens where guests can experience another time and place. There are three sections to the park: Medieval World, Roman World, and the titular “West World.” (Whether or not the other two worlds will be mentioned in the HBO series is anyone’s guess.) The “inhabitants” of Westworld are androids, complex humanoid robots that are so close to the real thing that it’s almost impossible to tell the difference. Something goes wrong with the androids and they turn violent, and that’s where Westworld starts to get interesting.
The trailer for HBO’s new series capitalizes on the ethics regarding robots that can pass for human, with Evan Rachel Wood’s character Dolores Abernathy questioning the nature of her existence. If everything she has ever known is a lie, then how can she even be sure about her own identity? Gone is the campiness of the 1973 film, replaced with a slick sci-fi edge and questions of android sentience that echoes the greats, from Blade Runner to Metropolis.
The sets range from that of the fake Western town to the futuristic industrial complex where the amusement park is controlled. Everything looks sharp and crisp, and HBO isn’t afraid to show off the stellar cast they’ve collected for this venture. In addition to Wood, an HBO alum (True Blood), the series will also star Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia), Ed Harris (The Abyss), James Marsden (X-Men), Thandie Newton (The Chronicles of Riddick), and Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs).
The show is being brought to HBO by showrunners Jonathan and Lisa Joy Nolan. Jonathan Nolan is best known by fans as the brother of Batman Begins director Christopher Nolan and scribe of movies such as The Dark Knight, Memento, and Interstellar. Lisa Joy Nolan is best known for her work as producer on USA Network’s Burn Notice. The show will be executive produced by Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams and his production company, Bad Robot.
Westworld comes to television and HBONow October 2016.