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Westworld Logo.jpg
Original film logo
Created byMichael Crichton
Original workWestworld (1973)
OwnerWarner Bros. (Warner Bros. Discovery), except for Futureworld owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Films and television
Television series
Video game(s)

Westworld is an American science fiction-thriller media franchise that began with the 1973 film Westworld, written and directed by Michael Crichton. The film depicts a technologically advanced Wild-West-themed amusement park populated by androids that malfunction and begin killing the human visitors; it was followed by the sequel film Futureworld (1976). The franchise moved to television in 1980 with the short-lived series Beyond Westworld on CBS. In 2016 a new television series based on the original film debuted on HBO; the critically acclaimed series broadcast four full seasons before being cancelled.[1]

Film series[edit]

Westworld (1973)[edit]

Westworld was the first theatrical feature novelist Michael Crichton directed, after one TV movie.[2] It was also the first feature film to use digital image processing to pixellate photography in order to simulate an android's point of view.[3] The film was nominated for Hugo, Nebula and Saturn awards. The film was well received by critics.[4]

The story is about amusement park robots that malfunction and begin killing visitors. It stars Yul Brynner as an android in a futuristic Western-themed amusement park, and Richard Benjamin and James Brolin as guests of the park.

Futureworld (1976)[edit]

Futureworld is the sequel to the Michael Crichton film. The sequel stars Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Arthur Hill, Stuart Margolin, John Ryan, and Yul Brynner, who makes a cameo appearance in a dream sequence. Other than Brynner, none of the cast members from the original film appear, and original writer-director Crichton and original studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer were not involved.[5]

The story is set two years after the Westworld tragedy, with the Delos corporation having reopened the park. The story starts when newspaper reporter Chuck Browning (Peter Fonda) and TV reporter Tracy Ballard (Blythe Danner) are invited to review the park.[5]

Principal cast[edit]

Characters Film
Westworld Futureworld
1973 1976
The Gunslinger Yul Brynner
Peter Martin Richard Benjamin
John Blane James Brolin
Chuck Browning Peter Fonda
Tracy Ballard Blythe Danner
Dr. Duffy Arthur Hill
Dr. Schneider John P. Ryan
Harry Stuart Margolin


Role Film
Westworld Futureworld
1973 1976
Director Michael Crichton Richard T. Heffron
Producer Paul N. Lazarus III James T. Aubrey & Paul N. Lazarus III
Screenplay Michael Crichton Mayo Simon & George Schenck
Composer Fred Karlin
Editor David Bretherton James Mitchell
Cinematographer Gene Polito Gene Polito & Howard Schwartz
Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer American International Pictures
Release date November 21, 1973 August 13, 1976
Running time 88 minutes 104 minutes

Television series[edit]

Beyond Westworld (1980)[edit]

Beyond Westworld was created by Michael Crichton which served as a continuation of the two feature films.[6] The series stars Jim McMullan as Security Chief John Moore of the Delos Corporation. The story revolved around Moore having to stop the evil scientist Simon Quaid, as he plans to use the Delos robots to try to take over the world.[7]

It premiered on March 5, 1980, on the television network CBS in the United States. The show was nominated for two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup and Outstanding Art Direction For a Series. Only five episodes were produced, of which three aired before the series' cancellation due to poor ratings.

Westworld (2016–2022)[edit]

Westworld is an American science fiction-thriller television series created by husband-wife duo Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Nolan serves as executive producer along with Joy, J. J. Abrams and Bryan Burk.[8] The series takes place in fictional Westworld, a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated completely by synthetic androids dubbed "Hosts". Westworld caters to high-paying visitors dubbed "Newcomers" (also known as "Guests"), who can do whatever they wish within the park, without fear of retaliation from the Hosts.

Westworld premiered on October 2, 2016, on the cable television channel HBO in the United States.[9] The series has been well received.[10][11] The series has also attained strong Nielsen ratings for HBO, with the U.S. series premiere attracting 1.96 million viewers.[12] A second season began on April 22, 2018, and a third season on March 15, 2020. Season 4 debuted on June 26, 2022. In November 2022 it was announced that HBO had cancelled Westworld. [13]

Video games[edit]

A first-person shooter based on the film, titled Westworld 2000, was released in 1996.[14]

An action game based on the TV series, titled Westworld Awakening, was released in 2019 for virtual reality headsets.[15][16]

Westworld in popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ Rice, Lynette (October 8, 2022). "'Westworld': Jonathan Nolan Drops Hint At New York Comic-Con About Fifth And Final Season Negotiations". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 22, 2022.
  2. ^ "Westworld". Tcm.com. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
  3. ^ A Brief, Early History of Computer Graphics in Film Archived 2012-07-17 at the Wayback Machine, Larry Yaeger, 16 Aug 2002 (last update), retrieved 24 March 2010
  4. ^ "Westworld (1973)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Variety Staff. December 31, 1975. "Futureworld", Variety.
  6. ^ "Beyond Westworld". The New York Times.
  7. ^ "Beyond Westworld DVD news: Announcement for Beyond Westworld - The Complete Series - TVShowsOnDVD.com". Archived from the original on August 1, 2014.
  8. ^ Gelman, Vlada (August 31, 2013). "HBO Greenlights Sci-Fi Pilot Westworld From J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan". TVLine. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  9. ^ Prudom, Laura (July 30, 2016). "'Westworld,' 'Divorce,' 'Insecure' Set HBO Premiere Dates". Variety. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  10. ^ "Westworld: Season 1 (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  11. ^ "Westworld: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  12. ^ Holloway, Daniel (October 3, 2016). "TV Ratings: 'Westworld' Premiere Matches 'True Detective' Season 1". Variety. Retrieved October 10, 2016.
  13. ^ Hibberd, James (November 4, 2022). "HBO Cancels 'Westworld' in Shock Decision". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  14. ^ "Westworld 2000". Next Generation. No. 27. March 1997. p. 98.
  15. ^ Burke, Ron (September 18, 2019). "Violent Virtual Delights — Westworld Awakening VR review". Gaming Trend. Retrieved November 6, 2021.
  16. ^ Coles, Jason (August 19, 2019). "Westworld: Awakening Review – A Haunting VR Experience". UploadVR. UVR Media, LLC. Retrieved November 6, 2021.