HBO’s upcoming TV-series remake of the classic 1973 sci-fi western Westworld is something I’m eagerly anticipating as it combines my favourite genre – sci-fi – with my childhood favourite – westerns.
During the Person of Interest panel show runner of both Person of Interest and Westworld, Jonathan Nolan, surprised everyone by releasing some teaser footage. Unfortunately unlike some of the more high-profile panels they’ve managed to keep it from leaking by using some newfangled technique called “asking nicely”. However IGN was on-hand and gave a brief rundown of what they saw:
The footage opens with a young woman sitting motionless in a chair, limbs a bit askew. A voice says “Bring her back online,” as the camera slowly zooms in closer. By the time the scene ends, we’re watching a fly crawl across her eyeball while she remains motionless. The voice asks “Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?”
Notable is the fact that Strauss’ “Blue Danube Waltz” plays throughout, indicative of its famous use in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.
After the scene with the woman, the music skips to a faster part of the Waltz as a quick montage of imagery featuring the series stars and a ton of Wild West imagery closes us out.
With some additional detail from io9:
We also catch a glimpse of a lab, where androids are being manufactured in gleaming chrome frames, while Anthony Hopkins intones, “You can’t play God without being acquainted with the devil.” There are also moments — perhaps in the lab, perhaps in Futureworld — where people are being experimented on, and needles stabbed into their eyes, and other creepy stuff.
When Nolan introduced the teaser he spoke about the central premise of the show being “about A.I.”, and that as a consequence of touching on it in Person of Interest he’d “decided to do a whole show about it”. So while in the original movie the conflict between the humans and androids was sparked (hah!) by malfunctions, it appears that in the show it’ll result from the androids becoming self-aware.
It also seems that the theme park will be a virtual reality simulation as opposed to, as in the movie, a physical location. In which case, does the software running the simulation become self-aware? Will androids (sim-droids?) have individuality divorced from their “parent”? How? Is a Nick real boy? What control will people outside the simulation be able to exert over it, or what influence do they have over it? Could it even go beyond a Western setting? So many questions, and I can’t wait for the answers.
Following the panel, HBO released a few images of the cast on Twitter:
Westworld is set to air later this year, and it’s something I’m very much looking forward too. How about you?
Last Updated: July 15, 2015