HBO Cancels ‘Westworld,’ Series’ Stories Won’t Be Resolved
The park is closed.
Despite leaving many storylines hanging after its recent fourth season, Westworld will not get to finish out its storylines for a fifth season. HBO has instead decided to end the show, which launched with a ton of hype in 2016, and inspired an initially rabid fanbase drawn to the show’s dense mythology, but slowly seemed to lose that passionate viewership over the years. (Ratings for the recent fourth season were a fraction of Season 1 when the show was at its apex.
Here was HBO’s statement on the news:
Over the past four seasons, [creators] Lisa [Joy] and Jonah [Nolan] have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. 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.
Here was Joy and Nolan’s own statement:
Making Westworld has been one of the highlights of our careers. 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.
This is definitely not the outcome Nolan and Joy were hoping for. As recently as early October they were publicly talking about how they had planned the show to run for five season. “Jonah [Nolan] and I have always had an ending in mind that we hope to reach. We have not quite reached it yet,” Joy said recently.
The series, based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name and basic premise, was initially set in a futuristic theme park populated by incredibly lifelike robots. Later years expanded the story to the world outside the park, and took on grander themes about artificial intelligence and human consciousness. Unfortunately, ratings did not expand along with the show’s ambitions.