Westworld trailer debuts at SXSW 2016 | EW.com
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Music | South by Southwest 2016

J.J. Abrams debuts trailer for HBO's Westworld at SXSW

(HBO via YouTube)

During his SXSW conversation with The Jinx director Andrew Jarecki about technology and humanity in storytelling, J.J. Abrams showed some never-before-seen footage from one of his upcoming television series that is the literal meeting of the two, HBO’s Westworld.

Last we heard about the ambitious sci-fi Western, the premium cable show had stopped production in January so that executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy could catch up on the final four scripts, with things expected to start back up in the spring.

The short sizzle reel took place largely in the underground laboratory of the futuristic West-theme amusement park. Anthony Hopkins’ character, Dr. Robert Ford, watches on as synthetic muscle fiber is printed onto a robot shaped like Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man.”

Other synthetics are shown dressed as cowboys and drawing their six-shooters within containment cubes, and there’s even a robotic buffalo.

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“Our creatures have been misbehaving,” Ford tells to Jeffrey Wright’s. “Do you think it’s sabotage?” What plays out next is that “misbehaving.” Characters are shooting each other and possibly driving others off of cliffs. A Native American character appears to scalp another.

“You can’t play got without being acquainted with the devil,” Ford says.

Even in the short sizzle reel, there a few things were clear about the mysterious series. First of all, the production quality is extremely high. HBO appears to have invested a lot of money in this Bad Robot project, and it looks incredible. Secondly, Evan Rachel Wood’s character, Dolores Abernathy, has a central thematic role, as someone whose authenticity is questioned by a young boy visiting Westworld.

HBO hasn’t officially announced a premiere date for Westworld, but this is definitely a series to keep an eye out for.

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