Home News

Postponing Westworld Allowed HBO To Map Out Future Seasons

Three weeks out from the show's arrival, James Marsden has shed new light on HBO's decision to postpone production on Westworld.

We’re little under a month out from the long-anticipated arrival of HBO’s Westworld series, but it’s fair to say that it hasn’t been an easy road.

During the throes of production, for instance, the network temporarily postponed filming to lend showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy more time and creative leeway to flesh out the inaugural season. That was back in January, when the official word from HBO noted that the sudden delay was little more than a “brief hiatus in order to get ahead of the writing.”

However, pumping the brakes on midway through filming can be interpreted as a sign of trouble – no smoke without fire, and all that – although a new report hailing from Entertainment Weekly today reveals that HBO’s rescheduling effort was, as expected, designed to produce a more coherent vision, but also to map out future seasons.

Shedding some light on this future-proofing process, James Marsden noted that:

“It wasn’t about getting the first 10 [episodes] done, it was about mapping out what the next 5 or 6 years are going to be. We wanted everything in line so that when the very last episode airs and we have our show finale, five or seven years down the line, we knew how it was going to end the first season – that’s the way Jonah and [executive producer J.J. Abrams] operate. They’re making sure all the ducks are in the row. And it’s a testament to Jonah and Lisa and HBO that we got them right, especially the last three scripts. They could have rushed them and get spread too thin. They got them right, and when they were right, we went and shot them.”

Marsden is attached to the role of Teddy Flood in Westworld, but HBO is keeping firm character details under lock and key for now. Bouncing off his star’s comments, Jonathan Nolan then drove home the point that, thanks to the postponement, the team is now presiding over a “big story” that seemingly won’t fall prey to repetition.

“We didn’t want to have a story that repeated itself [each year]. We didn’t want the Fantasy Island version of this [where new guests arrive at the park every season]. We wanted a big story. We wanted the story of the origin of a new species and how that would play out in its complexity.”

Also starring Ed Harris, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Creed breakout Tessa Thompson among many, may others, Westworld will finally makes its bow via HBO on October 2.

About the author

Michael Briers