HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Shuts Down Production, Still Targeting 2016 Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)

Westworld
Courtesy of HBO

Production has been temporarily shut down on HBO’s highly anticipated drama “Westworld,” sources tell Variety.

The ambitious project, which doesn’t have an official premiere date, was shuttered for two months so executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy can catch up on the final four scripts. Sources say the California-based production, which was originally scheduled to wrap in November, is now set to resume in March.

“As we head into the final phase of production on ‘Westworld,’ we’ve made the decision to take a brief hiatus in order to get ahead of the writing,” said HBO in a statement.

Sources tell Variety the shutdown is temporary and that HBO is confident that the series will make its targeted premiere date. HBO has yet to specify a date beyond saying it will air in 2016.

The one-hour drama, inspired by the 1973 film starring Yul Brynner, is described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.” The series stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden and Thandie Newton.

When “Westworld” was first ordered to series in November 2014 (the pilot was greenlit in 2013), HBO was targeting a 2015 premiere date, which it promoted with several Vines:

The production has faced earlier questions about graphic sex scenes, when background actors employed on the production were required to sign a document agreeing to possibly “perform genital-to-genital touching.” HBO issued a statement placing blame on an external casting agency, and resolved the issue with SAG-AFTRA by revising the document.

The project hails from Warner Bros. TV, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions and Jerry Weintraub Productions. Abrams and Bryan Burk also executive produce.

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  1. Tracey Ingham says:

    Wow Westwood is carp. Had high hopes. Why are there just 2 humans? Surely there would be more to keep the park open? You can not just have 2 humans making up the storyline of the soldiers it would be too expensive to accomadate them and use up so many robots and area ( why don’t they come across other humans?) Quite frankly I don’t care about the robots either they are not endearing just boring.
    And how are these 2 human blokes affording to stay in so long ? There must be a time limit so other humans are be able to go in?Don’t they have work either? It has not been thought out at all and is coming across as farcical. And do not get me started on the 2 human scientists being frightened of Thandie Newton…. laughable!!!!!!

  2. Smalltowntarget says:

    I have GCI and my on demand is sketchy at best. They blame HBO for West World not being available. They also blame AMC for wanting more money so I haven’t seen The Walking Dead for over a year either. I’m up in Alaska. GCI has a monopoly and they pretty much do what they want. We need some competition up here. Any takers?

  3. Robert Allen says:

    If there is no genital to genital touching then I’m not watching it.

  4. You know who says:

    HBO ain’t playin’ anymore. They are shutting down all of their floundering, ultra-expensive productions. (See: Utopia)

  5. stevenkovacs says:

    How could they NOT get Josh Effin Brolin involved?!

  6. The Gunslinger says:

    The show has been a mess from the start–look at the timeline. This will be burned off as a mini-series (no way the cast wants to stick around for another round) and it will go away.

    Let’s just call it “Worstworld” and be done with it.

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