Westworld's Nolan on turning the original film 'inside out' with the new HBO series

It’s gone through its fair share of delays, but HBO’s Westworld is over the hump and set to debut this fall — and it sounds like it’ll be one heck of a trip into the dark places between AI and humanity.

Producer Jonathan Nolan chatted with Entertainment Weekly about what viewers should expect from the series, and if you’re looking to the 1973 film for inspiration, that’s only half the story. Nolan said they wanted to use the basic concept — a Wild West playground with robots and thriller elements — as a jumping-off point to ask even bigger questions. He said it’ll be hard to figure out who the “good” guys are (if there even are any), as they look at what comes next for the “human story.” Ambitious much? 

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

“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…

[T]he 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.”

Westworld is set to premiere this October, after being delayed more than a year to allow additional time for retooling and script-writing.

Do you think the show will actually be worth the wait?


(Via Entertainment Weekly)

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