The reboot of Westworld is arguably one of the buzziest projects currently in development at HBO, so fans were understandably bummed to hear recently that the series has been bumped all the way back to 2017. So, what’s the problem?
Producer J.J. Abrams (Lost, Star Wars: The Force Awakens) told Fortune the nuance in the story proved a bit harder to truly nail down, so they decided to essentially take as long as needed — arbitrary premiere dates be darned — to truly get it right. So, though the knee-jerk reaction is to assume something is “wrong” with the show (and that could certainly be the case, of course), it sounds like they’re instead just slowing things down.
Here’s an excerpt from Abrams’ comments:
“Westworld is one of those things I’ve wanted to work on for so long. I had a meeting probably 21 years ago with Michael Crichton [who wrote and directed the 1973 original film] about doing this. And it’s taken along time to get this going. At the heart of Westworld is this story of consciousness and oppression and discover. It’s one of the projects I feel most grateful and lucky to be a part of. What [the directorial team has] done is so stunning and cool and they’re not rushing it because of business maters and the network is giving them the time. That is never a bad move.”
Hopefully, the finished product will be worth it. The series was part of HBO’s presentation at SXSW, and though no footage has been released publicly, buzz indicates it looked really good. Which, considering the talent behind the scenes (and the fact that it’s at HBO), isn’t much of a surprise.
For those keeping track, Westworld has been in development for a while and was originally supposed to premiere in 2015. But the studio halted production in January, and now it sounds like they’ll be spending most of this year working on the series, slouching toward a 2017 premiere.