Westworld Producers Offer Insight Into Lengthy Development Of The HBO Series.

Two executive producers of Westworld, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy share their insights on where the series is headed. First, if you remember back to this past January, you may recall when production for Westworld temporarily stopped. Reports at the time concluded that executive producers and writers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy simply needed more time to complete the scripts for this season. After all, the producers had been writing the scripts while early filming was taking place. Additionally, producers have said that “The show is complicated and ambitious.” Scriptwriter and producer Lisa Joy more recently elaborated that “For the first half of the series, we were writing while in production and we needed the time to catch up on scripts. Taking that time allowed us to really finesse all the storylines we set up, deepening character arcs and delving further into the series’ larger mythological questions.”

Westworld Producers and cast in the LA Times Press Tour

Jeffrey Wright, left, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton and Anthony Hopkins, right, of HBO’s Westworld. Images: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times.

Not so unexpectedly, there was more to the story as creative forces behind Westworld considered where the series was going. Producers were looking at where Westworld would be several years down the road. What would be the long term goal of the show, which also included how it would eventually end. While all these factors are certainly important, the producers wanted to get things straight from the start.

Actor James Marsden was recently quoted as saying “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.”

Westworld Producers And Cast Members Have Unified Goals For The Series.

I remember when Nolan said that he presented HBO with a rough plan for the first three or four seasons when they initially pitched the show. Nolan most recently was quoted saying that “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.” In a final quote James Marsden was reported saying “The greatest work never comes easy and in my opinion, that’s what we were dealing with. This show is very ambitious, grand in scale, themes and very expensive with a giant cast. And bigger than all of that is what this show wants to say.” Inside Westworld has created an episode guide for the season. Look for HBO’s Westworld, Sunday, October, 2 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.