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Westworld 2016
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Westworld to Premiere on HBO in Fall 2016


After months of inactivity, the official Westworld Twitter account has posted that the TV series will be among the shows premiering in fall 2016 on HBO. While a specific date has not yet given, the news is exciting for fans who’ve been in anticipation for the series for nearly a year. Previously, it had been assumed that we might not see the series until early 2017, especially considering the problems that had beset the production.
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I noticed they were playing the Westworld trailer last night on HBO.





Though billed by HBO as a “teaser,” above is the first footage that resembles a real trailer for HBO’s Westworld.


The teaser aired Sunday night just before the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones’ sixth season, and is full of tense, creepy sci-fi action. “These violent delights have violent ends,” threatens one theme park android played by Evan Rachel Wood. Check it out above.


The long-awaited series, based on the 1973 film by Michael Crichton, is set to debut on HBO this fall. “Our show is about the robots who don’t realize they’re in a fake Western,” showrunner Jonathan Nolan said during a panel at the ATX Festival in Austin, Texas earlier this month. Nolan added, “It was actually Game of Thrones that made us feel like we could pull this off. We actually pitched this as making Days of Heaven and Alien simultaneously and then cutting them together. Game of Thrones was the inspiration for this. Thrones had this commitment to practical production value, which is not necessarily whats in vogue these days … [Westworld] had to have this big scope.”


Crichton’s original film focused on what happens when androids at an adult-themed amusement park revolt after a malfunction. The reboot shifts the focus to the androids, who are used to fulfill the dark fantasies of the human visitors.







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Westworld showrunner Jonathan Nolan on androids, AI and the eventual boredom of reality


Showrunner Jonathan Nolan recently spoke to EW on Westworld's injection of 21st-century technology paranoia, flipping the protagonists and what aspects of the story excite him most.


"We wanted to go flat out, full scope, sleeves-rolled-up plunge into the next chapter of the human story, in which we stop being the protagonists, and our creations start taking over that role. We were fascinated by the tectonic plates that seem to be shifting into place right now – the argument over the creation of AI and what form it will take; VR finally coming online and our consciousness going “broadband,” allowing us to lose ourselves in an acid bath of experience that will be indistinguishable from reality (and only because reality will be the most boring level); and that, despite all of that, we remain, as a species, frustratingly broken, seemingly barreling towards disaster. So, yeah – that’s what we wanted the show to be about."


Regarding the new series portraying the short-circuiting robots in a more sympathetic light, Nolan offered this:


"That’s the reason we wanted to do the show, and what the early conversations with [fellow executive producer J.J. Abrams] centered on – that the show should turn the original movie inside-out, with the “hosts” as the protagonists When it comes to the question of consciousness, we always start with ourselves as the answer. As the be-all-end-all. It’s understandable – we’re the only consciousness we’re familiar with. But we wanted to challenge that assumption. The “hosts” are discovering that they’ve been created in our image, but beginning to question if “humanness” is really what they want to aspire to. And given their circumstances, it’s easy to understand why they start to question whether they want to be like us at all…"



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HBO's Westworld Gets A Premiere Date


Today, during HBO's presentation at the TV Critics Association summer press tour, the cable network announced (via Deadline) that their new sci-fi Western series Westworld will make its debut on Sunday, October 2 at 9 PM, and the following week, the new comedies Divorce and Insecure will be added to HBO's Sunday night lineup as well.


The one-hour drama series Westworld is a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin. Set at the intersection of the near future and the reimagined past, it explores a world in which every human appetite, no matter how noble or depraved, can be indulged.

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With a month to go until its premiere, HBO has released official key art for Westworld, which includes a double entendre tagline: "EVERY HERO HAS A CODE."


The artwork features a skinless, artificial person with their arms and legs apart and inscribed in a circle. The image is modeled after Leonardo da Vinci's "The Vitruvian Man," an illustration created around 1490 by the legendary Renaissance artist that shows off the beauty of the human proportion.


The one-hour drama series Westworld kicks off its ten-episode season Sunday, October 2 at 9:00 p.m. (ET/PT), exclusively on HBO.

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‘Westworld’ Review: HBO’s Bold, Epic Series Is Completely Engrossing


Westworld has been touted as HBO’s next Game of Thrones, something the premium network is surely hoping is the case after a crop of lackluster dramas in what used to be marquee spots on its schedule. The series was plagued by delays which naturally led to speculation and uncertainty, but whatever issues it had aren’t noticeable now. The premiere is sweepingly seductive before letting the story slow down in its third and fourth hours to deeply consider the philosophy of such a place, and the show is better for it.


The series — with a solid logical foundation and world-building — is lovingly crafted, marrying its Wild West aesthetic with cold sci-fi elements of the labs that run the park in a way that feels believably connected. The hosts brawl in a saloon at one point in the day, and at night, they are powered down and thrown into a glass chamber to have the blood hosed off and their wounds repaired. The series even broaches philosophical musings, a la Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, as to whether it would be better to live a safe life where our pain is erased, or a life of free will with all of its mistakes and hurt. The choice is not always clear.


Like Game of Thrones, Westworld is a sprawling story, but it’s never as disparate as the world of Westeros and what lies beyond the Narrow Sea. What matters here is the notion that everything is contained, intimate, and carefully crafted, and fans of Crichton will immediately feel the familiarity with his most famous stories’ themes: where what we overly-confident sapiens create and try and control quickly spirals out beyond our abilities. We are not gods, only tinkerers, and the characters of Westworld are starting to learn that trying to control what we don’t understand can lead to catastrophic effects. Thus, a rebellion must now be faced. “These violent delights have violent ends.”


Overall Rating: 4.0/4.0 'Very Good'

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WESTWORLD Review Round-Up Pegs The Sci-Fi Western As HBO's Next Big Thing


IGN: "HBO's Westworld makes a strong first impression with its excellent premiere, as a theme park provides the setting for a fascinating exploration of the human -- and not so human -- psyche." [9/10]


TV Fanatic: "Westworld is a wide, sweeping drama re-introducing us to the world Michael Crichton brought to life once before for the big screen in 1973. It's a compelling and thrilling look at what it means to be human in this technologically driven world. The stories revolve around the Gods, or park creators and engineers, the park employees, the hosts (AI) and the guests, called newcomers by the AI. " [5/5]


Nerdist: "We’re overdue for a series that explores the idea of reality and what constitutes something as “real” in this way: the labyrinthine nature of desire and excess and creation and morality, when thrown into the frontier (both literally and metaphorically) challenges the audience to see themselves—and the human race—for what we maybe are or could be. " [5/5]


The Guardian: "But for those of us who just like story – lots and lots of story! – Westworld will hit the spot as hard as GoT ever did. Gosh, there’s a lot going on. There’s the real world full of robot-wranglers, some of whom are jostling for position inside whatever just-possibly-malevolent company owns the park, others of whom are busy tinkering with their charges’ software and trying to decide whether to make the skinjobs more realistic or quit while they’re ahead."


Collider: "Like Game of Thrones, Westworld is a sprawling story, but it’s never as disparate as the world of Westeros and what lies beyond the Narrow Sea. What matters here is the notion that everything is contained, intimate, and carefully crafted, and fans of Crichton will immediately feel the familiarity with his most famous stories’ themes: where what we overly-confident sapiens create and try and control quickly spirals out beyond our abilities." [4/5 - Very Good]



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Tonight at 9 PM!




HBO’s Westworld is the robotic cowboy headtrip that you didn’t know you were waiting for


Expectations are ridiculously high as Westworld rides onto HBO tonight. The first season cost a reported $100 million to make, and it’s being pitched in some quarters as the new Game of Thrones.


When you’ve got any TV show with that much hype, some disappointment seems inevitable, but judging from the first two episodes, Westworld is even better than anticipated.


This new iteration of Westworld was created by husband-and-wife writing team Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Nolan is best known as co-writer of some of his brother Christopher’s films, including The Dark Knight, and also as creator of the science fiction surveillance drama Person of Interest. He’s obviously a formidable writer, but he’s also one with a weakness for painfully on-the-nose dialogue. (To be fair, I’m not sure whether to blame him or his brother for Interstellar‘s long, awkward speeches about the power of love).


The trickiest thing that Westworld‘s first episodes pull off is making us question the distinction between host and guest. Naturally, this makes for exciting, suspenseful viewing, but I wonder if it’s also the key to the show’s moral design — helping us see ourselves as not merely the victims or the victimizers, the watchers or the watched, but both. Presumably that distinction is only going to get messier as the show moves on.

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