HBO's Westworld

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ChrisTilford wrote:
oracle86 wrote:^ Great post, dude. :clap:
Thank you :) . Was wondering if I went overload with the infodump.
No, not at all. While reading your post, I wanted to post about the time Game of Thrones took during development at HBO - and then a few paragraphs down, noticed that you had mentioned it as well. Very informative and very well written too. Love that we have posters who are so well-informed about television shows on NolanFans. If this were an exam, then you would have been graded A+. Awesome! :thumbup:

We do have a lot of tv threads (specific threads for most of the popular shows like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Homeland to name just a few, and quite a few classic TV shows and upcoming ones too) as well as a General Television thread, a "What episode did you watch recently?" thread and an annual TV Awards thread) in our Entertainment board, so feel free to post there as well.

And believe me, we NolanFans love infodumps. ;)

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oracle86 wrote: No, not at all. While reading your post, I wanted to post about the time Game of Thrones took during development at HBO - and then a few paragraphs down, noticed that you had mentioned it as well. Very informative and very well written too. Love that we have posters who are so well-informed about television shows on NolanFans. If this were an exam, then you would have been graded A+. Awesome! :thumbup:

We do have a lot of tv threads (specific threads for most of the popular shows like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, 24, Homeland to name just a few, and quite a few classic TV shows and upcoming ones too) as well as a General Television thread, a "What episode did you watch recently?" thread and an annual TV Awards thread) in our Entertainment board, so feel free to post there as well.

And believe me, we NolanFans love infodumps. ;)
Thanks Oracle! I've checked out the Entertainment Lounge & have seen a few things that I currently follow (or hope to follow if I had the time) like The Strain & Tyrant. Looking to open up a lot of conversation when things start picking up once they premiere.

And for Westworld, maybe HBO will accelerate the process once Jonah's cred picks up post-Interstellar. :D

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ChrisTilford wrote: I've checked out the Entertainment Lounge & have seen a few things that I currently follow (or hope to follow if I had the time) like The Strain & Tyrant. Looking to open up a lot of conversation when things start picking up once they premiere.

And for Westworld, maybe HBO will accelerate the process once Jonah's cred picks up post-Interstellar. :D
Oh yes, FX's development slate is looking really good at the moment. :thumbup:

HBO has a couple of other SF shows in development as well - The Spark and recently MaddAddam, and its unlikely that all 3 will get picked up. So fingers crossed for Westworld.

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oracle86 wrote:
ChrisTilford wrote: I've checked out the Entertainment Lounge & have seen a few things that I currently follow (or hope to follow if I had the time) like The Strain & Tyrant. Looking to open up a lot of conversation when things start picking up once they premiere.

And for Westworld, maybe HBO will accelerate the process once Jonah's cred picks up post-Interstellar. :D
Oh yes, FX's development slate is looking really good at the moment. :thumbup:

HBO has a couple of other SF shows in development as well - The Spark and recently MaddAddam, and its unlikely that all 3 will get picked up. So fingers crossed for Westworld.
Totally agree on FX! Telemark, the project I mentioned earlier is from the Slumdog Millionaire team (Danny Boyle, writer Simon Beaufoy & producer Christian Coulson). About the Norwegian resistance fighters who attempt to sabotage Hitler's nuclear program in World War II. And also, a miniseries on Grigori Rasputin from the creator of Prison Break, Paul Scheuring.

In addition to The Spark, MaddAddam & Westworld, there's also Ridley Scott's "Pharaoh", which ties aliens with Ancient Egypt! Not only does that make four science fiction projects in HBO, but also four dramas in development that are set in Ancient Egypt on competing networks (the others being SpikeTV's "Tut", FOX's "Hieroglyph" (which got canned in late June/early July) & a detective drama series called "The Book of the Dead" (There's no network attachment to it yet, but it's a British co-production alongside the Weinstein Company).).

Consider this: Aronofsky's previously had a project with HBO, Hobgoblin (written by Michael Chabon), which got sucked into limbo. Ridley Scott's direction on a pilot alone won't guarantee a pickup as evidenced by Showtime passing on "The Vatican" earlier this year. The Spark was announced before Westworld (June 7, 2013), & there's been no further news of progress for it since, which strongly indicates inactivity. Taking into account all of this, we can assume Jonah's got the best odds.

But seriously, the multitude of shows in development with similar settings is mindblowing. There's three Arctic dramas in the works: Pivot is co-producing "Fortitude" with UK's Channel 4, which is being billed as an eco-thriller (somewhat similar to the Scandinavian crime stuff like Bron & Forbrydelsen (the original versions of The Bridge at FX & The Killing at AMC/Netflix, respectively) & this one's partly filmed in Iceland too). Xbox is doing an adaptation of Chuck Dixon's comic "Winterworld" (which has a post-apocalyptic setting). And Cinemax has "Blood & Ice" which is the Arctic Western I mentioned in an earlier post. Not only that, but if you check out the developmental slates of Starz or Cinemax on Futoncritic, you're bound to find multiple medieval pieces, mob/crime family stuff, outlaws, music business (though not as much), returning soldiers/civil war-ish things & so on (When Starz is not off developing sci-fi/fantasy like Incursion, Human Error, Blackbirds et al, or Cinemax is not off doing the same with stuff like Blood & Ice, Outcast, & The Sector).

Xbox is planning series adaptations based on many of their games which have counterparts on other networks too. Gears of War (which could be a companion piece to their own Halo TV series & its digital feature "Night Fall"), State of Decay (The Walking Dead), Age of Empires, Fable, & Forza Motorsport (I'm not kidding), Deadlands (Western/Horror mix which folks might compare with El Rey's "From Dusk til Dawn" for the horror aspect & Cinemax's Banshee from the Western angle, I think). In addition to that, there's also an adaptation of the Warren Ellis novel "Gun Machine". There are also 2 projects from Xbox & Pivot which are more outlandish than usual : From the former, an interactive historical docudrama miniseries called "13 Days of Blood" (About the Ancient Roman Empire. They even advertise it as 'Playing Television' :) ) & from Pivot, "Prison Earth", a science fiction drama set in a Guantanamo Bay-esque facility housing visitors from outer space (they'll cover xenophobia, prisoner's rights et al, and they'll have visual effects from NZ's Weta Workshop, who did Avatar). Another interesting project at Pivot is "Thirst" (family drama covering water rights in a dying New Mexico town).

These could be serious competition to Netflix & Amazon, Starz & even possibly HBO (given time of course), if they play their cards right. Purely from a cult angle alone, not from an awards perspective.
Last edited by ChrisTilford on August 11th, 2014, 9:02 am, edited 14 times in total.

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Those are some exciting shows. And I agree with Oracle, you should post more on other threads Tilford, your posts are really good. Also fingers crossed for Westworld in the near future.

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Rudinet wrote:Those are some exciting shows. And I agree with Oracle, you should post more on other threads Tilford, your posts are really good. Also fingers crossed for Westworld in the near future.
I've already started Rudy, thanks. Not sure that even 80% of what I listed will ever get made. Random cloudcuckoolander musings of a very disturbed mind. :D

Oh, on that subject, I accidentally left out Xbox's "Humans". An adaptation of a Swedish sci-fi drama about humanoid robot workers & servants who've attained freewill. Fun to see the topic of AI getting the TV treatment from multiple outlets (The others being POI & Westworld). Small mistake earlier: Fortitude is produced from the UK by Sky Atlantic, not Channel 4. The latter is co-producing Humans with Xbox.

EDIT: Director Michelle MacLaren (The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones & Breaking Bad) recently inked a deal with HBO. Since Lesli Linka Glatter isn't available due to Homeland, get her to be the regular helmer for this!
Last edited by ChrisTilford on July 11th, 2014, 3:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Chris, I'm astounded by your knowledge. Do you work in this field perhaps?

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kanjisheik wrote:Chris, I'm astounded by your knowledge. Do you work in this field perhaps?
No I don't. Just happen to spend way too much time than required on looking up what folks are developing as of late. On the other hand, I don't usually tend to watch most of them completely (not because I didn't like what I've seen of it earlier, but rather keep putting it off due to work & end up not finishing it). Happened with Homeland's third season, The Newsroom's second season & The Americans/The Bridge/Penny Dreadful's first season. Not to mention Breaking Bad (halfway through Season 2).

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Chris is regular poster in Person of Interest thread. He knows far too much about episode writers and directors than a normal fan.

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A common trend that I've noticed is that while HBO announces projects but lets them go cold, stuff from Netflix pretty much guarantee that they'll see the light of day. Their most ambitious project to date, Sense8 (from Babylon 5's J. Michael Straczynski & The Wachowski siblings) begins production soon & will be shot across eight countries. Not to mention the multiple Marvel shows (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage & The Defenders), Marco Polo (from the Weinstein Company, who're also prepping series adaptations of Sin City, The Mist, Silver Linings Playbook, War & Peace, Scream & a biopic on Laurel & Hardy, as well have acquired US airing rights for the Cillian Murphy period drama "Peaky Blinders" & the Italian crime series "Gomorrah". Few of them are co-produced with British studios), Narcos (based on the life of politician/drug trafficker Pablo Escobar), The Crown (Queen Elizabeth biographical drama, their newest acquisition) & an (untitled) psychological thriller from the creators of Damages (Seriously looking forward to this). Every project on their developmental slate have either a 10 or a 13 episode commitment (Besides Crown, which appears to be set for a 20-part maxiseries).

Would Westworld be a good fit for them? An investment of such a grand scale would require them to be really sold on the concept of the show & the feasibility of its execution. Shouldn't be much trouble for a guy who Batman gambitted a post cyberpunk work of art to an ass-backwards network. As an added bonus, you'll have all 10 episodes ready to watch on the same day. Which would be a hilarious contrast to the multiple delays which Person of Interest often has to suffer during mid-season! :lol: :lol:

The model at Amazon is a bit more different: they release the pilot for public viewing & based on viewer response, they go ahead with the decision of whether or not a series is ordered. If it gets the greenlight, the airing pattern's the same as cable (one every week, no interruptions). They've ordered 2 drama pilots to series so far: Bosch (based on the Michael Connelly crime novels) & The After (post-apocalyptic drama from The X-Files' Chris Carter). Others in development include Koolhaus (CIA agents undercover as art dealers), Grand Ave (Downton Abbey-ish set in 1920s Los Angeles), Sun Valley (a thug & his mother building a crime empire in Los Angeles), Cocked (comedy-drama father-son tale in the backdrop of a gun manufacturing company), Point of Honor (a civil war drama from Lost's Carlton Cuse & director Randall Wallace), an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle (previously set up at Syfy) & Hand of God (with Ron Perlman & Dana Delany. Somewhat supernaturalish, as it deals with Perlman's character seeing visions which maybe coming from God). Two other projects which may have thematic similarities (on some fronts, not all) with Westworld include Hysteria (pretty cool sci-fi premise with possible AI undertones, as it is about an epidemic spreading technologically) & an adaptation of the French comic Barbarella from Bronson & Drive's Nicolas Winding Refn (science fiction tale set across multiple planets, with erotic undertones (a first of its kind in its time) between the lead character & her alien lovers, something that also happen to be a function of the robots in Westworld).

(Off-topic: Taking inspiration from Xbox, now even PlayStation have launched a developmental slate. Kicking it off is an adaptation of Brian Michael Bendis' crime noir/fantasy/sci-fi comic "Powers", which previously had an series version in the works at FX. They're looking at a December 2014 premiere date. Unlike Xbox supported by Microsoft, the Sony supported PlayStation are gonna be pretty deliberate with their slate, starting with just one show for now, rather than a whole slew of them. But they are expected to make more announcements pertaining to their original programming system in the coming months. If this could mean adaptations of more video games, sci-fi/fantasy novel series or comic books, that's great. I'll keep updating this as soon they come into light. Trust that's okay with all of you. And Yahoo has launched a slate of their own too, though it only has comedies for now.)
Last edited by ChrisTilford on August 6th, 2014, 5:19 am, edited 6 times in total.

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