Westworld HBO Preview

Westworld Creators Reveal Reason for 2-Month Production Shutdown

The immense scale and scope of HBO’s Westworld became too big for even its creators.

At the Television Critics Association summer press tour Saturday, exec producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy explained the reason behind the sci-fi drama’s two-month production halt earlier this year. “They’re not kidding when they say it’s not TV, it’s HBO,” Nolan told reporters. “It’s really ambitious both in terms of its narrative and its production value. We needed to catch up, we needed to write ahead.”

Despite the (presumably) enormous financial ramifications associated with shutting down a production as large as Westworld‘s, HBO and Warner Bros. fully supported Nolan’s desire to hit the pause button. “They wanted us to have all the time we needed to make the show as great as it could be,” he shared.

The stoppage came six episodes into the series’ 10-episode first season.

Westworld — which stars Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris and Jeffrey Wright — premieres Sunday, Oct. 2 at 9/8c on HBO.

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  1. atia says:

    Umm, was that really an explanation?

    • Shaun says:

      yup,the fact you can’t understand it is on you.

      • Dr. M says:

        “yup,the fact you can’t understand it is on you.”

        Which is exactly what they’ll be saying when you can’t understand what’s going on.

        Translation for people that don’t speak TV: It became so bloated the writers got lost.

        • Temperance says:

          Well, it’s simple enough of a concept that you have to be pretty dim not to follow. The comments of the producers were perfectly clear: large scale, lots of working parts, need to be strategic and write ahead (at least in part due to the need to be wise with the money and overlap the bits that can overlap in the last 4 eps).

    • James P says:

      Basically, hbo says we are in the business of producing quality content. We are giving you 2 months to get it together or else we pull the plug on the whole project.

      • maggie says:

        Yup. HBO didn’t like what they were seeing, and made them take a break to pull it together. We’ll see if the end result was worth HBO giving them a second chance.

        • Temperance says:

          Oh, I doubt that. It’s a big idea with a big budget. If it’s like the original movie, there are three ‘lands’ to the theme park, and each is very unique… like creating all the sets for three (or four – behind the scenes) movies. Being very smart and planning ahead is essential to keep the budget sane.

  2. Cory says:

    Never understood why this got so much negative press. I’d much rather all networks do this more often to ensure they’re delivering the best product possible.

    More so I feel when a show is greenlit production should not begin until the season is written. That way writers can approach it as if it’s truly a visual novel, rather than something that can change drastically every few episodes as the writers decide what works and doesn’t. Never understood why it’s considered a good idea to write it so close to production schedule.

    • Temperance says:

      i think they were OK if this had been a regular production, but the multiple worlds of sets and SFX had to be very, very complex.

  3. cuius says:

    Blood & OIl Mk 2