TV fans were stunned earlier this year when HBO announced that their once gold star series Westworld had been cancelled. The sudden news shouldn’t have come as a surprise after mounting cuts at Warner Bros. Discovery had seen movies shelved and renewals pulled back, but it did arrive after weeks of talk from the creators that they had plans for season 5 to wrap up the show. Now new details have been revealed that talks for Westworld season 5 did occur, but mandated changes by Warner Bros. Discovery saw the producers decline the opportunity.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO considered producing Westworld season five not for its premium cable channel (or its streaming service) but instead a FAST streaming service (FAST meaning Free, Ad-Supported Television, think TUBI, Pluto TV, or Freevee). The only way to make Westworld for such a service however would result in the series taking a huge budget cut for its final episodes, with season four having cost over $150 million by the end of it all. Westworld is however coming off HBO Max and will arrive on one of these FAST streaming services in the not too distant future.
“Making Westworld has been one of the highlights of our careers,” co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy said in a statement when the series ended. “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 is just the latest hit series to be pulled from HBO Max, but Warner Bros. Discovery‘s plans for the show (and others that were pulled from the service) have come into full view as they intend to license them out to FAST streamers. WBD currently does not have their own FAST streaming services, but are exploring the potential for launching their own.