‘Westworld’ Cocreator Jonathan Nolan Is ‘Still Hoping’ to Finish the Story Despite Cancellation | Video

“I would hate to have spoiled it now if we get a chance to do so,” he tells TheWrap of his original plans for the HBO show’s ending

Despite being cancelled by HBO, “Westworld” cocreator Jonathan Nolan is “still hoping” he and Lisa Joy will get a chance to finish the series with one more season as originally planned.

“Our philosophy from the beginning was you make sure each installment, each chapter should be somewhat complete, tell a good story and then you get a chance to keep going,” Nolan told TheWrap in an interview promoting Prime Video’s upcoming adaptation of the ‘Fallout’ video game franchise. “But Lisa and I did have an architecture for the series and I’m big on getting a chance to finish these things. I think our hope is still somewhere down the line [for] a chance to revisit that story, and I would hate to have spoiled it now if we get a chance to do so.”

Season 4 ended with Christine/Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) entering the Sublime and choosing to spin up a new game, conjuring the Westworld of Season 1 in a digital afterlife. The final season would’ve taken place in that new Westworld, run by a very different gamemaker.

“We always thought that ‘Westworld’ should kind of come full circle and back to the West, but with Dolores, who was just a player in other people’s games, finally getting to write her own [story],” Joy told TheWrap in 2022 as the series was awaiting to learn its fate. “Just to close up a lot of the stuff that we’ve seen before like the flash-forward with The Man in Black and everything, so we have a plan for Season 5 — but, you know, life can make other plans for you. So we’ll just hope for the best.”

“It’s not an accident that they’re returning to the west, as Westworld, and this time with a completely different storyteller in charge,” she added. “I think point of view can change drastically the meaning of any kind of story or existence, and now it’s her turn. How often do you get to see the damsel in distress become the leader of a society? Somebody who went through what she did, I mean, look at our world now, how often does that happen and who holds power in most civilizations? It’s not a person or creature like Dolores. So to be able to see the test for what that would look like, to see how the lessons she’s learned — and she’s learned specific lessons based on her own [experience]. She was a ‘thing’ to people. She lived through countless lives and reboots where she was at the mercy of guests in a park, indulging in their vices and id. She’s seen a lot of human nature, and maybe enough to know how to structure something or give a game in which some kind of hope for it might emerge.”

When asked if he would want to work with HBO again or another interested party on a potential Season 5, Nolan admitted it’s “too early to say” (Warner Bros. Discovery notably removed the series from Max and has licensed it to free, ad-supported streaming services Roku and Tubi).

“We’re having fun concentrating on ‘Fallout’ right now, but the experience working on ‘Westworld’ was such an extraordinary one. That cast, that crew, like a family. Everyone says that, but it’s usually bulls–t. With this group, it really was the case,” he added. “Just an extraordinary group of people, an extraordinary subject and the experience of making that show, we just cherished it. So if we never get a chance to go back to it, we’d be pretty happy with the experience that we had. But I love that story, I love the cast and so if we had a chance to revisit it somewhere down the line, that would be amazing.”

In addition to Wood, “Westworld” starred Thandiwe Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Ed Harris, Tessa Thompson, Aaron Paul and Luke Hemsworth, among many others. Nolan and Joy executive produced alongside Alison Schapker, Denise Thé, J.J. Abrams, Athena Wickham, Richard J. Lewis and Ben Stephenson. The series, which is based on the film written by Michael Crichton, was produced by Kilter Films and Bad Robot Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.

Adam Chitwood contributed to this report.


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