HBO is shutting down Westworld for good. The hit series, once seen as one of the network’s heavyweight properties alongside Game of Thrones, has been canceled after four seasons. The move comes completely out of left field for a show that garnered a staggering 54 Emmy nominations and seven wins, with its most recent nominations coming in 2020 for Season 3.
Considering the slew of recent cancellations and scrapped projects at HBO following the Warner Bros. Discovery merger under David Zaslav, the immediate speculation was that Westworld, too, was a victim of the same fate. Its ratings had flagged in recent years, seeing sharp declines in both Season 3 and Season 4 that caused concerns about its continuation, and sentiments regarding the latest seasons have soured. Still, the possibility of Westworld meeting its end didn’t seem likely considering its status on the network and the fact that creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy seemed to have a clear vision of how they would end the series with its fifth season. Moreover, The Hollywood Reporter writes that industry insiders did not believe the series was canned for the sake of cost-cutting.
Since its premiere back in 2016, Westworld has evolved considerably across its entire run, originally starting in the titular futuristic western theme park where high-paying guests are allowed to live out their fantasies to their heart’s content with no real consequences. It would expand beyond the confines of Westworld, exploring the dark realities of the rise of artificial consciousness and creating a compelling fight between humans and machines. It quickly rose as one of HBO‘s most-viewed series ever in its debut season and, despite the fall in interest with recent seasons, has maintained a following to this day.
Throughout its four seasons, Westworld also featured a star-studded cast that helped carry it forward as an HBO flagship. Among the cast were Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Hemsworth, Ed Harris, Tessa Thompson, and Anthony Hopkins among others. Thandiwe Newton, who played Maeve Millay, also took home a supporting actress Emmy for her role in the series.
See the Official Statements on the End of Westworld
HBO released an official statement commenting on the end of the series, saying:
Over the past four seasons, Lisa and Jonah have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step. We are tremendously grateful to them, along with their immensely talented cast, producers and crew, and all of our partners at Kilter Films, Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television. It’s been a thrill to join them on this journey.
Kiltner films also put out a statement thanking the cast and crew, adding:
Making Westworld has been one of the highlights of our careers. We are deeply grateful to our extraordinary cast and crew for creating these indelible characters and brilliant worlds. We’ve been privileged to tell these stories about the future of consciousness – both human and beyond – in the brief window of time before our AI overlords forbid us from doing so.
Westworld Season 4 concluded its run back in August. All episodes are currently available on HBO Max. Check out the trailer for the fourth and now final season below.