Cable TCA: Jonathan Nolan On Westworld’s SettingCable TCA: Jonathan Nolan On Westworld’s Setting
Executive Producer Jonathan Nolan discusses HBO's new take on Westworld. Cable TCA: Jonathan Nolan On Westworld’s Setting

Sci-Fi classic Westworld is attempted for television again with a new series that will premiere October 2 on HBO. At the recent Cable portion of the Television Critics Association press tour, the show’s Executive Producers and stars spoke a bit about what audiences can anticipate from the show.

westworldposter“It [started] with J.J. Abrams, who I’ve been collaborating with going on six years now,” Executive Producer Jonathan Nolan recalled of the origins of this new TV Westworld. “He is a fantastic partner. J.J. actually sat down with Michael Crichton two decades ago. Crichton wanted to talk to him about remaking the original film, and J.J. couldn’t crack it at that point. And, in fact, neither could the rest of the town — couldn’t figure out how to quite figure out how to remake the movie. The movie — Yul Brynner’s performance, in particular, is so iconic with that role.”

“Fast-forward two decades later, it occurs to J.J. that it’s not a movie,” Nolan explained. “It’s a series, and a key aspect of that is this idea that you take the narrative and you invert it, and you make it about the hosts. J.J. reached out to Lisa and myself. And for us, it felt like an opportunity to play with all the questions that we were most excited about, what’s happening right now. Whether it’s artificial intelligence. This is a show that has so many fascinating things that we love to dive into, so we couldn’t possibly turn it down.”

Nolan remained vague about the setting for the Westworld TV series. Is it on another planet? Is it in the far future? Who knows.

“In that great HBO omnibus ensemble tradition, we’re able to explore different points of view with the show,” Nolan said. “We wanted to start with and ground most of the information that the audience has in the hosts’ perspective. So when it comes to these questions, we tease a little bit along the way, but we really wanted to strand the viewers in that limited understanding of where this place is. We very much want the viewers to be asking those questions.”

Westworld premieres October 2 on HBO. You can see a trailer below.

Craig Byrne, Editor-In-Chief

KSiteTV Editor-In-Chief Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.