HBO tries its hand at SF.
Earlier today we saw our first still photo from HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Westworld, and while that’s all well and good—it does feature a scuffed up looking western robot brandishing a classic style rifle, which is pretty cool—it’s only so exciting. (Some of the details that arrived with the picture were quite promising though.) But then, like magic, we stumbled across this video from the premium cable channel, and low and behold, there are a few snippets of actual footage from the sci-fi western, the first we’ve seen.
This video is a compilation of footage that offers a quick rundown of HBO’s year in 2014. As you can imagine, it is full of clips from continuing shows like Game of Thrones, new additions like The Leftovers, and departing favorites like Boardwalk Empire, among the various other things they show. There’s a decent amount of Manny Pacquiao for the boxing fans among us, concerts, and other random viewing options.
But if you stick around for a while—and not even too long, because the video only runs two-and-a-half-minutes—you get a sneak peak at what’s ahead in 2015. Assuming you get HBO as part of your cable package, if you even have cable at all anymore (or you could borrow a friend’s HBO Go login, that’s always an option). Here you get to see snippets of things like more Game of Thrones, a new season of The Leftovers, and an assortment of other programs. And most important for the topic at hand, there are three quick shots from Westworld.
There’s a wide outdoor shot of two people (or possibly robots) riding on horseback, which makes sense, since this is a pseudo-western, or at least set in a theme park where you can live out all of your cowboy dreams by playing old west gunslinger.
You get a view of a slick, vaguely futuristic scientific facility, where you imagine people in white coats create and repair the robots that populate the title park.
And finally there’s a shot of Ed Harris looking grim and stern as the mysterious villain, the Man in Black, a role Yul Brynner played in Michael Crichton’s 1973 original.
You don’t learn a ton, but you get a sense of the scope from the exterior shot, and the clean, sterile interiors offer a nice contrast to the dusty, gritty world outside. And lets be honest, a clip of Ed Harris looking tough as hell is never a bad idea.
Aside from the basic set up, there’s not a ton available about the plot. We know Anthony Hopkins plays the visionary founder of the park where tourists can engage in shootouts, drink whiskey, and hang out with old west prostitute robots; Harris is a villainous cowboy; and James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood play a pair of star-crossed robot lovers.
Jonathan Nolan (Interstellar), co-creator, writer, and director of the pilot episode, said, “What we can tell you is that we intend to make the most ambitious, subversive, f–ked-up television series. The things that keep you up at night, any of those things that trouble you—that is exactly what the show is about.”
With a badass sounding premise, and a great cast that also includes Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Miranda Otto, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Angela Sarafyan, and Simon Quarterman, we’re getting pretty pumped up for Westworld around these parts. We don’t know when we might see it beyond a vague “sometime in 2015,” but hopefully that HBO streaming-only service will be in effect by then so more of us can check it out.