The television adaptation of Michael Crichton”s novel of the ultimate uber-rich vacation destination gone wrong has been quietly percolating for months. Now HBO is finally ready to unveil the first trailer for “Westworld” and it appropriately unsettling.
While the 1973 film of the same name focused on two tourists (Richard Benjamin and James Brolin) on the run from an unstoppable killer robot Sheriff (Yul Brynner), that isn”t really something one can stretch out into a multiple episode – or multiple season – theme. Based on this first trailer, HBO is going a little less “killer robots” and a little more “Star Trek” mixed with “The Matrix.” It also tosses in a dash of deconstructing exactly what kind of people might pay to live out their fantasies amongst 'people' without free will.
Instead of focusing on Ed Harris” Man in Black character, the trailer has an disembodied voice asking Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) a very Isaac Asimov question about the nature of reality. Evans is clearly an android based both on her treatment within the trailer and previous imagery, so the question is two-fold:
Has this android ever questioned the artificial world she lives in and has this android realized she”s a robot? Whether or not artificial intelligence is truly alive or in possession of a soul has been a cornerstone of hard science-fiction for decades. But when done correctly, the tantalizing quandary never loses its philosophical appeal.
Considering Wood is bloody and clearly physically damaged, what happened to her? And was it at the hands of paying customer? Will the denizens of “Westworld” rise up against their creators/oppressors? We”ll find out in 2016.