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SYFY WIRE Westworld

Cease all motor functions: HBO cancels 'Westworld' after four-season run

The hit series was based on a 1973 film written and directed by Michael Crichton.

By Josh Weiss
Evan Rachel Wood in Westworld Season 4

These violent delights really do have violent ends.

Variety confirmed Friday that HBO has decided to cancel Westworld after four seasons. The decision apparently stems from a combination of fading viewership David Zaslav's aggressive cost-cutting measures at Warner Bros. Discovery. The show was once a zeitgeist-y hit, but its seemed to generate a bit less buzz with each passing season.

Developed for television by Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, the hit sci-fi show was based on the 1973 film of the same name directed by Michael Crichton. A cautionary tale about humanity's technological hubris served up with a heaping dollop of existentialism, Westworld centers around the android "Hosts" of an Old West theme park in the not-too-distant future who begin to turn on their creators.

“Over the past four seasons, Lisa and Jonah have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step,” HBO said in a statement published by Variety. “We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey.”

“Making Westworld has been one of the highlights of our careers," added Joy and Nolan. "We are deeply grateful to our extraordinary cast and crew for creating these indelible characters and brilliant worlds. We’ve been privileged to tell these stories about the future of consciousness — both human and beyond — in the brief window of time before our AI overlords forbid us from doing so."

The producing pair are currently focusing the vast majority of their efforts at Amazon, which signed them to a massive $150 million production deal back in 2019. This partnership has already yielded The Peripheral (now in the midst of rolling out episodes), an upcoming adaption of the Fallout video game series, and a horror anthology entitled Unknown.

Praised for its nuanced characters and a labyrinthine plot that inspired a host of fan theories (particularly in the first two seasons), Westworld featured a dynamite cast made up of Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, James Marsden, Tessa Thompson, Jimmi Simpson, John Gallagher Jr., Lena Waithe, Aaron Paul, Vincent Cassel, Ben Barnes, Katja Herbers, and Clifton Collins Jr. Throughout its 36 episode run, the run nabbed over 50 Emmy nods, winning nine of them.

All four seasons of Westworld are now available to stream on HBO Max.

In the mood for more Crichton-y goodness? The Extended Version of Jurassic World Dominion is now streaming on Peacock.