The movie and TV industry can be a wild and wooly place. We are so accustomed to seeing plenty of drama on the screen that sometimes we forget that there is an equal, if not more, amount of drama behind the screen, especially when it comes to developing a project. Sadly, that is the case behind HBO’s Westworld.
Ever since this series was announced there has been a flurry of stories regarding the status of Jonathan Nolan’s science fiction series. On one hand some people say this will be the greatest television event in recent history and will help propel the sci-fi genre for television to new heights. However there are other people saying that it’s sinking faster than a raft made of Swiss Cheese. So we here at TG2 Studios are going to attempt to distil this to its two most basic stories.
The first of these two is a story that comes from JoBlo. Here we get our positive spin. Their sources say that HBO is very happy with the series, delays and production problems notwithstanding, and they are looking at a summer release. This would help give them a really strong audience by having a sci-fi and a fantasy series in Game of Thrones actually overlapping for a time. There are plenty of fans of both genres and would happily watch both series. Now if this story were true we might expect to see Westworld premiere in June.
The Hollywood Reporter was in the “opposite corner” when it came to the status of this series, but in their case it’s so much bigger than just what is going on with Westworld. They are reporting that HBO is going through a really bad series of crises right now (SlashFilm reports that there are a whole bunch of them and that it’s fascinating), but there are a few mentions of Westworld, as well as some “less than harmonious” relationships between Nolan and the network. One very interesting paragraph stuck out from THR’s story.
Late last year, HBO stopped work on the pricey J.J. Abrams-produced Westworld, based on a popular sci-fi book series and with an enormous cast including Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris. Initially produced with Warners’ TV production arm, HBO took back control after what sources call clashes with creator Jonathan Nolan, whose TV credit is the WBTV-produced Person of Interest on CBS. (HBO usually makes its own programming but works with Warners on The Leftovers.) Nolan is said to be every bit as controlling as his filmmaker brother Chris. Sources say cuts came in slowly, scripts started running behind, and it became apparent that episodes already shot needed tweaks requiring additional filming. Since stopping production, HBO persuaded Nolan to “put aside his ego,” one source says, and has brought in two additional producers and two more writers.
So if this story has any weight we may be looking to 2017, which could damage the series given that it was to premiere in 2015. So what does all of this mean? Well sadly we just don’t know. While JoBlo’s article of optimism is clearly the story we would like to get behind, THR’s has a certain respectable weight to it that makes it hard to ignore. However we do need to remember that HBO is no stranger when it comes to chaos, and perhaps it’s that very tension which helps them to deliver such strong projects. Even with all of the turmoil that is rumored to exist, this may help to create an incredibly strong series in Westworld. Only time will tell.
Where do you stand regarding Westworld? Do you feel that the series is just going through some “developmental hiccups,” or do you side with THR and that there are greater problems behind the closed doors of HBO?
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