Westworld is a TV series that has been in the works in some form or another since the 90s at Warner Bros, shifting into high gear in 2013 when the studio partnered with HBO to bring something pretty epic to life.
It's based on Michael Crichton's 1973 film of the same name which was about a futuristic adult theme park where people could pay to take part in all manner of activities, including shootouts with gunslingers. It's a bit dated now but the concepts are still interesting and prescient and Yul Brynner makes for a pretty creepy bot.
So there was plenty of material to draw from in cooking up a new take on the show, in this case led by Jonathan Nolan - the brother of Interstellar director Christoper Nolan and his sometime co-writer. The cast was eventually assembled to include Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, James Marsden and Thandie Newton and we even got a really weird teaser video.
Doesn't that look a bit fantastic? However behind the scenes there were issues, scripts were delayed and changed and the production closed down to get things in order so that the last few episode could be rejigged. And all of this well passed the original planned air date of 2015, which shifted to 2016 and is now more than a little nebulous.
The latest news suggests that there are a couple of different plans for the show - it could actually still arrive in mid 2016, potentially crossing over with the last couple of episodes of Game of Thrones season 6 to score some audience. On the other side of the story, we're hearing that the issues with Nolan and HBO could stall things into 2017, and if it takes that long maybe we'll never see these episodes air.
With that cast and this kind of genre content, Westworld is undoubtedly an expensive series to make and HBO will want to see significant return on their investment along with Warner Bros. If that means delaying the project until its in the best possible shape that's the ideal resolution for everyone involved, including the audience, but at this rate it seems unlikely we'll be visiting this theme park in the near future.