Michael Crichton is a well-known author of books and Hollywood screenplays, and before his famous work of Jurassic Park was adapted into a film in 1993, he wrote a similar work of an amusement park gone mad with Westworld two decades prior to that. HBO is rebooting this concept with Westworld, and this is what is known about the release date, cast, and other news.
Unlike the 1973 original film, which had Yul Brynner as a robotic Gunslinger who malfunctions in this artificial world, it looks like the 2016 version takes it to a new level. The new show's official imdb page describes the first episode of with this synopsis: "Joseph Peters embarks on his magical quest to find the treasure through Westworld. He is sent with only one bottle of water and his magical flying pony Charles."
The Verge describes this premise as "a futuristic, western-themed amusement park where guests can indulge their every whim". The creators of J.J. Abrams (the guy who has directed Star Wars, Star Trek, and other franchises that I won't mention) as well as Jonathan Nolan (writer of several hit films like Memento, The Dark Knight, and Interstellar with his famous director brother Christopher Nolan) say the show will be exploring the nature of life and how artificial intelligence fits into the equation.
The new Westworld has a lot of big stars including Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, James Marsden, and Thandie Newton. So far, this show looks lot less like Westworld and more like some kind of combination of Jurassic Park meeting Blade Runner, on the same network that has given us Game of Thrones.
One thing that we have reported about before with this program is how there are reports that extras on the set of the HBO series were asked to sign consent forms concerning certain scenes with simulated sex. The Screen Actors Guild warned extras that they didn't have to certain scenes that require nudity or certain sex acts, but then there are reports that the extras were getting paid quite a bit for their work.
Since this controversy, HBO has responded to the questions about the show's depictions of violence and even sex violence. The HBO president of programming states: "We take [violence] very seriously and it's not about the fetishization of those acts, rather, exploring the crime - hopefully with dignity and depth".
Westworld is planning to premiere on HBO on October 2nd, 2016. It should be noted that this is not the first time an attempt at Westworld on TV has been tried. In 1980, there was a TV series known as Beyond Westworld, which lasted about 5 episodes. By the way, Westworld was supposed to premiere in 2015, but it was delayed, so it could be worth the wait.