The premium cable channel announced today that the series, based on the 1973 Micheal Crichton film about androids in a theme park turning on their masters, will debut on October 2nd.
Described by the network as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the evolution of sin” the series stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton and Jeffrey Wright. It was created for television by Person of Interest‘s Jonathan Nolan and Pushing Daises‘ Lisa Joy.
“Building on the incredibly evocative concept of the original film, we wanted to pose the question: If you could be completely immersed in a fantasy, one in which you could do whatever you wanted, would you discover things about yourself that you didn’t want to know?” said Nolan in a statement.
“We also wanted to explore what it means to be human from the outside in – through the eyes of the ‘hosts’: the lifelike AI characters that are the main attractions of the park. It’s a meditation on consciousness – the blessing and the burden of it – beautifully portrayed by our remarkable cast,” added Joy.
The project has had its share of troubles since it was first announced. It was originally planned to debut in 2015, but then delayed. Then came reports of extras being asked to agree to “graphic sexual situations,” which, considering the film, isn’t all that surprising. The production then shut down in January to “catch up” on the final four scripts.
And, according to reports coming from today’s screening at the Television Critics Association’s Summer Press Tour, the pilot features the off-screen rape of one of the hosts; leading to further discussions about the use of sexual violence on the channel during an executive session with HBO’s head of programming Casey Bloys.
Of course, Game of Thrones, known for its nudity and graphic situations, also had a rocky start with large parts of its pilot reshot and several actors recast before it aired.
But viewers will have a chance to see if the project was worth the wait when Westworld debuts this fall.