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James Marsden on the 'disappointment' of 'Westworld's early cancellation

One of Westworld's biggest stars has opened up about losing the show too soon.

By Matthew Jackson
James Marsden in Westworld Season 4 Episode 4

One of Westworld's biggest stars has opened up about the show's cancellation after four epic seasons on HBO.

Speaking to Rolling Stone about his 2022, which included a return to the acclaimed sci-fi series as a new incarnation of an original character, James Marsden was clear right upfront that losing the show when it was on the cusp of ending its story was a real gut punch.

"I’d be lying to you if I told you that the way we ended Westworld wasn’t a disappointment," Marsden said. "I’m never going to speak without gratitude about any of my experiences, but it would have been nice to be able to complete the story we wanted to finish. I love this Westworld family. It was one of those unique opportunities to be part of something where I also would be sitting at home ravenously waiting for the next episode as a fan."

Westworld's fourth season aired over the summer on HBO, and while it saw a dip in the ratings for the series, many fans saw the new season as a return to form for the show, which famously reinvented itself with each new season. Co-creators Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan had one more season of stories in mind for the show, but in November, HBO announced that Westworld would not continue, leaving fans with an ending, but not the ending.

For Marsden, that stings, but he hasn't given up hope that the show might still be brought back online somewhere else.

"I totally understand it’s an expensive show and big shows have to have big audiences to merit the expense, I just wish it was about more than financial success," he said. "But who knows, maybe there’s some world where it can get completed somehow. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, because I know we had plans to finish it the way we wanted to."

Back in August, after the Season 4 finale, Joy teased the path forward for the fifth and final season of the show, in which a version of Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) would make good on the promise of the end of the fourth season and continue to rebuild a version of Westworld in The Sublime, the show's version of heaven for android consciousnesses. 

"It ends back home again in an atmosphere that is familiar to us from Season 1, and yet is completely different because the lay of the land is dictated by a completely different being," Joy said. "There's something that will be familiar and yet quite evolved about the landscape that we come to find, and the people and hosts that we find within that landscape."

As of this writing, there is no indication that the show has found another home, but maybe Marsden's hopes will live on just a little longer.

In the mood for some sci-fi fun? The original Quantum Leap and the new NBC revival are both streaming now on Peacock!