“Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?” So asks the first teaser for HBO’s forthcoming sci-fi Western series Westworld, which just might make you answer “yes.”
Westworld, set to premiere sometime next year, is a dark, one-hour drama based on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, in which a futuristic, Old West-themed amusement park turns into a living hell when the android attractions begin hunting the attendees. (Sound familiar?) The show’s first teaser trailer aired last night ahead of True Detective’s Season Two finale, as per Variety, and it’s not to be missed.
The eerie, enigmatic clip packs a lot into just 30 mind-bending seconds, teasing the series’ talented cast, including Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler), Anthony Hopkins (Hannibal), Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) and Thandie Newton (The Pursuit of Happyness), and promising some very compelling weirdness. The teaser presents a subtly sinister mixture of Old West atmosphere and creep-tastic futuristic flourishes, setting the tone for Westworld’s singular style.
In addition to the aforementioned Wood, Hopkins, et al., Westworld’s deep bench boasts Ed Harris (Snowpiercer), James Marsden (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Miranda Otto (Homeland), Rodrigo Santoro (Focus), Shannon Woodward (Raising Hope), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Hercules), Angela Sarafyan (Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2) and Simon Quarterman.
Here’s what we know so far about (most of) the actors’ individual roles:
—Hopkins stars as Dr. Robert Ford, Westworld’s mysterious creative director, chief programmer and chairman of the board.
—Wood co-stars as Dolores Abernathy, a simple farm girl who begins to question her existence within the park.
—Wright plays Bernard Lowe, a brilliant man who heads up Westworld’s Programming Division and studies humans, the inspiration for his work—the creation of artificial people.
—Santoro plays Harlan Bell, a most-wanted bandit who plays a predatorial role in the park.
—Woodward plays Elsie King, an employee in Westworld’s programming division.
—Bolsø Berdal plays Armistice, a bandit like Bell who lives the outlaw lifestyle.
—Sarafyan plays Clementine Pennyfeather, one of Westworld’s most popular “attractions.”
—Quarterman plays Lee Sizemore, the storyteller of Westworld.
That breakdown leaves three heavy-hitters—Harris, Marsden and Otto—unaccounted for, which magnifies the exciting air of mystery surrounding this series. And the filmmaking minds behind Westworld only add to its appealing mystique: the series is being produced by J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions, with Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest) serving as an executive producer, writer and director. The anticipation, like a robotic gunslinger gone rogue, is killing us.
Westworld comes to HBO in 2016. Check out the creepy first teaser above and follow the show on Twitter for more updates.