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SYFY WIRE Westworld

WIRE Buzz: George R.R. Martin responds to Westworld; Alamo Drafthouse; Monster Hunter wraps

By Jacob Oller
Westworld Drogon

Westworld set the internet ablaze with a fire-breathing cameo from one of Game of Thrones’ most familiar faces (and two showrunners whom the fandom has mixed feelings about). Show co-creator Jonathan Nolan said that the Drogon, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss cameo was all A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin’s idea: "The argument there was all between whether or not one of the parks should be Westeros World, which George R.R. Martin has been pitching for years.” Now the man behind the Iron Throne has spilled the real story behind the HBO crossover.

Writing on his blog, Martin explained that though he didn’t know the particulars about the episode’s cameo, he did plant the seeds in Nolan’s mind. “I had no idea this particular moment was coming until I caught it on HBO… but back during WESTWORLD’s season one, I did suggest to Jonah that, seeing as how the original WESTWORLD film featured a Medieval World, the TV version could easily have a Westeros World,” Martin wrote. This callback to the original Michael Crichton echoes the one in the show, which tips its hat to Jurassic Park (another Crichton project). But Martin’s intentions were never for a full back-and-forth—just fun.

“I never wanted a full crossover, never thought that WESTWORLD’s hosts should adventure in Westeros World as they have in Samurai World and War World…but a brief scene or two could have been fun, and would have been in keeping with the Delos concept,” the author explained. “And, hey, I even suggested that they could bring back actors from GOT, characters we had killed. The hosts die almost weekly, after all. The fans might have gotten a kick out of catching a brief glimpse of Richard Madden, Sibel Kekilli, Esme Bianco, Ron Donachie, or Mark Addy again…and I suspect the actors would have been game as well. But it was not to be.”

A few supporting players popping up in full armor would certainly be fun, but since the dragon already divided the internet, Westworld fans shouldn’t expect to see many more familiar faces anytime soon. Westworld continues airing its third season on Sundays.

Next, as moviegoers adapt to a quarantined and socially distanced world without theatrical screenings, those behind the movie theaters are adapting as well. Alamo Drafthouse has launched a new initiative specifically aimed at those staying home and looking to replicate the unique vibe that’s earned the company its cult following.

According to a release, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is kicking off the “Alamo-At-Home” initiative by bringing its Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday series to its Virtual Cinema collaboration with Kino Lorber, Film Movement, and Magnolia Pictures. This online indie distribution network will include the pre-show content, introductions, and discussions the Alamo is known for.

“Terror Tuesday and Weird Wednesday aren’t just film series- they’re communities, and even though our theater doors are currently closed, it’s vital that we continue to foster these communities, because they are truly the heart of the Alamo Drafthouse,” said Sarah Pitre, Senior Director of Programming and Promotions.

The weekly series kicks off with Keith Li’s self-explanatory 1982 film Centipede Horror on March 31, followed by Fredric Hobbs’ 1973 mutated-sheep monster movie Godmonster of Indian Flats on April 8.

Finally, not even the coronavirus could stop Paul W.S. Anderson’s Monster Hunter movie. Perhaps all those Resident Evil films gave him some insight into working through a pandemic? The film, which stars Milla Jovovich as Captain Natalie Artemis and Tony Jaa as The Hunter, recently dropped its first posters (which showcase some massive weapons from the Capcom video game series of the same name) and, now, it looks to have wrapped filming.

The company behind the film, German producer-distributor Constantin Film (which also put out Anderson’s Resident Evil adaptations), gave an update on the production as many of its contemporaries either halt, delay, or otherwise postpone due to the dangers of coronavirus.

Monster Hunter is still set for a September worldwide release,” Constantin Film boss Martin Moszkowicz told Deadline. “We are delivering it this week.” While many of its other titles will be affected, the timing worked out for Monster Hunter so that it wrapped just as many productions close down. Post-production work can be done remotely, as many productions and animated projects opt for this strategy.

Monster Hunter looks to slay when it drops into theaters on Sept. 4.