A drama series that has yet to premiere on HBO already has its first five seasons planned out. EW.com reports that the word on “Westworld” is that the premium cable net has long-term plans for the series.
The report comes after a temporary shutdown of production back in January raised some concerns about the project. The brief hiatus gave showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy extra time to write the first season’s later episodes.
Said Joy: “It’s a really complex interlocking story. We knew where we wanted to go and we knew exactly how the season ended where the kind of character arcs ended, but weaving those scripts and writing the dialogue for all these brilliant actors, it takes time.”
With a high-profile cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden and Thandie Newton, the series is set to premiere on HBO Oct. 2. The producers reportedly got busy during the production break firming up plans for what they expect to be a long run.
Said Marsden: “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.”
The mammoth production effort behind “Westworld” has drawn comparisons to HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” But Nolan noted that “Thrones” benefits in the planning process by being drawn from George R.R. Martin’s detailed novels. In contrast, “Westworld” is based solely on Michael Crichton’s 1973 movie.
“We have a fantastic original film, but that’s a little under two hours of storytelling,” said Nolan. “So our joke was we have to write the ‘novels’ first, and then adapt them and then go shoot them.”