The newly released teaser trailer for Westworld, HBO’s sci-fi Western from executive producers J.J. Abrams, Lisa Joy, and Jonathan Nolan, does exactly what it should do. It wholly disorients the viewer enough to make them want to watch the show through the simple desire to figure out what the hell is going on; it begins with a futuristic looking interrogation chamber feat. Evan Rachel Wood, then cuts to an Old Western saloon scene, then shows a skeleton, a curiously gooey figure, and some stunning scenery.
Of course, if that viewer recalls the 1973 Michael Crichton film (about a theme park whose attraction is bygone eras) on which it’s based, they may at least think they vaguely what’s going on in the series, but will likely be curious to see how it’s been adapted into a modern vision of a future that looks like the past. And so, it seems undeniable: the teaser has very much teased.
Anachronism is key to the plot of Westworld — in the film, the past eras depicted in the theme park are the Old West, the Medieval period and the Roman Empire, but who knows what surprises the HBO version holds. In the original film, the theme parks are populated by androids who live out the fantasies of yore, while the public comes to gawk (and participate) — essentially, it sounds like Jurassic World, but with brothels. Then the robots start malfunctioning (or rebelling?!) and turning against visitors, and a sci-fi action concept is born.
As /Film points out, all that’s been said of the new series — created by Joy and Nolan — is that it is “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.” The casts’ characters are also known, with Anthony Hopkins playing the director of the park, Jeffrey Wright as the head of programming, and Evan Rachel Wood as one of the period-robots. The series also stars James Marsden, Sidse Babbett Knudsen, Eion Bailey, Jimmi Simpson and Clifton Collins Jr. It’s set to air in 2016.
Watch the trailer: