Westworld already has five seasons mapped out at HBO

'The greatest work never comes easy and that's what we're dealing with'

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 12 September 2016 11:57 BST

Much has been reported about HBO's upcoming series Westworld, the sci-fi western series based on Michael Crichton's 1973 film of the same name.

With only two seasons of Game of Thrones remaining, the premium cable network seems to be lining up Westworld as the fantasy epic's replacement - an observation cemented by the news there are already five seasons mapped out.

In fact, it's emerged that the halting of production in January - something that many reported as a cause for concern - was due to showrunner Jonathan Nolan and executive producer Lisa Joy's wish to formulate a masterplan for the entire series.

Westworld Extended Trailer

Considering its status as a complex mythology-heavy series - bolstered by the involvement of Lost co-creator JJ Abrams - this should add a whole new level of anticipation.

Cast member James Marsden said:

“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."

Entertainment Weekly reports that Nolan - who co-wrote 2008 film The Dark Knight with his brother Christopher - even teased the formula of future Westworld seasons.

“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]," he said. "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.”

Marsden, who stars alongside Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton and Ed Harris, went on to tease the show's impressive scale: "The greatest work never comes easy and, in my opinion, that’s what we were dealing with; this show is very ambitious and grand in scale and in themes and very expensive with a giant cast. And bigger than all of that is what this show wants to say.”

Westworld begins in the US on 2 October and will air on Sky Atlantic in the UK shortly afterwards.

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