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HBO Westworld Release Date and Cast: Controversy Surrounding X-Rated Clauses in Contracts

( [email protected] ) Oct 01, 2015 02:21 PM EDT
If you remember 1973, then you might remember a science fiction film called Westworld where Yul Brynner plays a malfunctioning robotic cowboy in a futuristic adult-themed amusement park that brings visitors' wild west fantasies to life.  The film was written and directed by Michael Crichton, who went on to write a similar book and screenplay known as Jurassic Park.  Westworld is getting remake in the form of a darker science-fiction television series on HBO with the same name, and this is what is known about HBO's Westworld Release Date and recent controversy.
Anthony Hopkins in HBO's new "Westworld" HBO/NY Daily

If you remember 1973, then you might remember a science fiction film called Westworld where Yul Brynner plays a malfunctioning robotic cowboy in a futuristic adult-themed amusement park that brings visitors' wild west fantasies to life.  The film was written and directed by Michael Crichton, who went on to write a similar book and screenplay known as Jurassic ParkWestworld is getting remake in the form of a darker science-fiction television series on HBO with the same name, and this is what is known about HBO's Westworld Release Date and recent controversy. 

The television series is created by Jonathan Nolan, the brother of famed director Christopher Nolan.  Jonathan helped write several of his brother's screenplays including Interstellar, The Dark Knight, and Memento.  There is a teaser of the series on the HBO website which doesn't reveal much about it, other than it talks about characters who are questioning their reality.  It would appear that the artificial cowboys in this version are much more complicated than their mechanical inspirations from the 70's film.  It sounds like Nolan took Crichton's concept one step further as the androids are more organic than mechanical in nature, and not even aware that they aren't even human. 

Speaking of complications, there are reports that extras on the set of the HBO series were asked to sign a consent form warning scenes with simulated sex that may require "genital to genital" touching, according to NY Daily News.  This racy contract was prepared in advance of a filming session on Wednesday, which says that actors also be required to "contort to form a table-like shape while being fully nude", "wear a pubic hair patch", and "other assorted acts". 

When the Screen Actors Guild, the union that represents actors, saw this language, it reminded its members that under their existing contract, they could decline to appear in scenes that require nudity or sex acts.  The guild even wanted a representative on the set on Wednesay, and HBO gave a statement saying  that "the document...was created by an outside extras casting vendor" and "it was not requested, written, or approved by HBO, Warner Brothers Television, or the producers, and contains situations that we do not require of any actor". 

A normal union scale for background performers is $157 a day, but it was reported that extras on HBO's Westworld were said to have been paid $600 for the steamy sessions and simulated sex they were asked to perform. 

Of course, many HBO shows have sex acts performed on them, and even Emilia Clarke, who plays Daenerys Targaryen on HBO's Game of Thrones, has refused to do certain nude scenes.  It sounds like HBO's Westworld could take this sexuality into another level.  It is possible that the storyline of HBO's Westworld could justify such scenes, as Westworld is about a theme park to make people's fantasies come true.  From what it looks like, the artificial human beings on HBO's Westworld are capable of appealing to very explicit fantasies.

Westworld is planning to premiere on HBO in 2016.  It has a lot of big stars including Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, and Thandie Newton.