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Film

  • Awesome, Dear Boy: Richard Benjamin apparently welcomed the role a lot, because he always wanted to star in a Western, but never had the opportunity until then.
  • Creator Killer: After making the film, Michael Crichton took a year off. He did not make a film for another five years. He did try, and had one set up "but I insisted on a certain way of doing it and as a result it was never made."
    I was intensely fatigued by Westworld. "I was pleased but intimidated by the audience reaction. ... The laughs are in the wrong places. There was extreme tension where I hadn't planned it. I felt the reaction, and maybe the picture, was out of control."
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  • Darkhorse Casting: It was decided to cast two younger relative unknowns as John and Peter so as to make sure that Yul Brynner remained the star name in the film.
  • Deleted Scene: Scenes that were deleted from the rough cut include a bank robbery and sales room sequences, an opening with a hovercraft flying above the desert, additional and longer dialogue scenes, more scenes with robots attacking and killing guests including a scene where one guest is tied down to a rack and is killed when his arms are pulled out, a longer chase scene with the Gunslinger chasing Peter, and one where the Gunslinger cleans his face with water after Peter throws acid on him.
  • Development Hell: Beginning in 2002, trade publications reported that a remake starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was in production, and would be written by Michael Ferris and John Bracanto. Tarsem Singh was originally slated to direct, but left the project. Quentin Tarantino was approached, but turned it down. On January 19, 2011, Warner Bros. announced that plans for the remake were still active.
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  • Inspiration for the Work: Michael Crichton became inspired to write this film after a trip to Disneyland, where he saw the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and was impressed by the animatronic characters.
  • Money, Dear Boy: Yul Brynner was suffering from financial difficulties by the early 1970s and in desperate need of money. With no other movie work on offer to him at the time he reluctantly agreed to play his role for a knockdown $75,000.
  • Never Work with Children or Animals: During the scene where John was bitten by a rattlesnake, while the milked rattler was attached to James Brolin's arm, he was bitten by the teeth on the snakes lower jaw, despite wearing padding on his arm made of leather and cotton.
  • Playing Against Type: As an actor Richard Benjamin is mostly known for his comedic roles, so this was a notable change of pace for him.
  • Technology Marches On:
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    • The sheer number of reel-to-reel computers running the resort are one obvious case.
    • The spreading malfunction of the Delos robots is described in terms of an infection, which the heads of Delos laugh off. The film came out only two years after what is commonly described as the first computer virus, and almost a decade before the first time one infected anything outside of the lab where it was created.
    • On top of that, in 1973, the Gunslinger's Robo Cam sequences were the most advanced special effect in recorded history, the first use of digital image processing in a feature.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: One scene that will immediately stand out to any modern viewer is the bit where the park's technicians are trying to figure out and explain what's causing the robots to start attacking guests, particularly the fact that it seems to be spreading between the robots. Today, we have a very simple term for this "infectious machine disease": computer virus.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Amongst the names originally mooted to play the two human leads were James Caan, Elliott Gould, Lee Majors, Jon Voight. However these all proved to be either unavailable during the filming dates or too expensive to hire. The then 42 year old William Shatner was also seriously contemplated by the studio but the producers struggled with ideas as to who to cast alongside him. They eventually decided to cast two younger relative unknowns so as to make sure Yul Brynner remained the star name in the film.
    • Peter Graves and Leslie Nielsen were both considered for the role of John Blane (alongside Shatner as Peter Martin) before it was decided to cast younger actors.
    • The original script and original ending of the movie culminated in a fight between Martin and the Gunslinger, which resulted in the Gunslinger being torn apart by a rack. Michael Crichton said he "had liked the idea of a complex machine being destroyed by a simple machine", but when attempting it, "it seemed stagey and foolish", so the idea was dropped. He also wanted to open the film with shots of a hovercraft traveling over the desert, but was unable to get the effect he wanted, so this was dropped as well.

Series

  • Acting in the Dark:
    • Jeffrey Wright was one of the few actors who knew Bernard is a host, and even he was only told after the pilot was filmed, to allow him to put some subtle quirks in his body language.
    • Defied by Anthony Hopkins, who specifically demanded to be given the full picture as a condition after he was initially sent scripts with a lot of blacked out lines.
    • Even most of the cast don't even know what's going on with the show or what scene they are shooting as they were shot out of order. For example, Evan Rachel Wood recalled on her Instragram that when she and Ed Harris are shooting a scene together for Season 2, they both look confused and Harris looks at crew and says, "Why the fuck am I riding with Dolores!?" In a later interview, Harris found out about some of the stuff later on saying he would appreciate if he knows about it at the time of the filming.
    • Very few people, including Evan Rachel Wood, know about the Season 3 twist regarding Dolores bringing four copies of herself to infiltrate the outside world. Tessa Thompson, Tommy Flannigan, and Hiroyuki Sanada, who played the copies were only told about it when they were about to shoot their scenes.
  • Acting for Two:
    • Jeffrey Wright plays Bernard Lowe and Arnold Weber (the man whose likeness that Bernard's is based on).
    • In the Season 2 finale, Ben Barnes portrays both Logan (more accurately, Logan in one of James Delos' memories) and the "System" of the Forge using Logan's appearance. The same goes with Tessa Thompson who plays Charlotte Hale and her host version controlled by Dolores.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Serac speaks fluent Portuguese when meeting the Brazilian president in Season 3. His actor, Vincent Cassel lived in Brazil before where he learns the language.
  • All-Star Cast: Two decades-long Hollywood A-listers like Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris are surrounded by plenty of other household names such as James Mardsen, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Hemsworth and Aaron Paul.
  • California Doubling: Much of Season 3's futuristic city setting is in Los Angeles. But most of the scenes are filmed in Singapore, particularly in the Central Business District. The City Of Arts and Science in Valencia, Spain is used as the Delos Headquarters.
  • The Character Died with Him: Indicated to be so with Kissy, since Eddie Rouse passed away in December 2014, a few months after filming the pilot. A dedication to him appears in the pilot episode's end credits.
  • Creator Backlash:
    • Ed Harris admitted in an interview with Vulture that he didn't particularly enjoy William's role in Season 3, as he felt that he had signed on to play the Man in Black, not the "Man in White" seen in that season.
    • Thandie Newton admits she's frustrated with Maeve's storyline in Season 2 and 3, feeling she's following a different directive that's not her own.
  • Creator Couple: The show is created by husband-wife Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Both of them even wrote several episodes together.
  • Creator's Favorite: In the Deadline podcast, Denise Thé, the executive producer and one of the episode writers in Season 3, admits that her favorite character to write is Charlotte Hale. She enjoys writing Hale's A Day in the Limelight episode because she finds a personal connection in Hale.
  • Doing It for the Art:
    • Much like the movies by Christopher and Jonathan Nolan, the show is shot on 35mm filmstock, making it one of the few which still do so. Plus, the show uses a lot of Practical Effects for several key sequences, with CGI being used only to embellish certain things which aren't physically possible.
    • Hiroyuki Sanada appointed himself the show's consultant on Japanese culture, regularly going around the Shogunworld set and making little changes so it would be more authentic, while still allowing through the occasional mistake like the leather in his character's clothes so it would still fit as a literal The Theme Park Version of Edo period Japan.
    • Jonathan Nolan admits the trippy sequence of Caleb being under the Genre drug influence which let him experience different kinds of film genres was his idea because he likes to experiment on this approach. He even compares to the three-course gum from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  • Fake American:
    • Australians Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs) and Leonardo Nam (Felix), the Dutch Katja Herbers ('Grace'), & the British Ben Barnes (Logan).
    • Ben Barnes maybe a subversion, as Season 2 introduces the character of his father, James Delos, who is played by Scottish actor Peter Mullan, who retains his natural accent. Which is cause to assume that Logan is British, but has an American accent because he probably grew up in the States.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • Armistice is played by Norwegian actress Ingrid Bolsø Berdal.
    • The actor who played the Brazilian president in Season 3 is actually American.
  • Fan Nickname: Several.
    • Especially "Bernarnold" for Jeffrey Wright's character Bernard, probably the most frequently used nickname for a character. Bernard Lowe has past ties to the deceased Arnold Weber, in more ways than one. Some have slurred the nickname further, to the likes of "Bananold".
    • Due to many viewers and fellow fans mispronouncing Dolores Abernathy's name (e.g. Delores, Doloris, Deloris, etc.), some fans of the series had started nicknaming the character "Doritos", mocking the increasing weirdness of the mispronunciations. For some reason, few seem to know how to spell her name correctly.
    • "Billiam" for William's character. He tends to be referred to as either "William" or "Bill/Billy", depending on the particular period of his life that's being shown, hence the portmanteau. In a bit of Actor Allusion, some fans have also speculated that William's never-revealed surname is "McPoyle".
    • "Budget Hemsworth" for security chief Ash Stubbs, as he's played by the least famous and (currently) least-earning of the Hemsworth brothers.
    • Angela is played by Talulah Riley, who happens to be Elon Musk's ex-wife (twice). Accordingly, many have nicknamed Angela "Elon Musk's Ex".
    • The "Teddynator" for Teddy Flood, at a particular point in the second season's storyline. Unfortunately, less funny and more tragic. Dolores has the considerate and heroic Teddy forcefully reprogrammed into a ruthless, unflinching killer, who'll blindly do her bidding. Ted might seem badass at first, but becomes terrifying, making for a sad but fitting nickname.
    • The Bittersweet Ending received by Teddy Flood at the end of the second season has been nicknamed "Dead Ted Redemption" by some.
    • "Halores"/"Charlores" for the host version of Charlotte Hale, carrying a copy of Dolores' conscious mind, created at the end of the second season.
    • "Damaged Arnold" for Bernard in Season 3 due to his work pseudonym, Armando Delgado, which many fans amusingly took this as an anagram.
    • "Dolores Prime" or "OG Dolores" for the original Dolores played by Evan Rachel Wood due to The Reveal of having four copies of herself. Collectively, all of Dolores' copies are referred to as "Dolori".
    • "MIB" which is a shortcut for the Man in Black. Not be confused with The Men in Black.
    • "Man in White" for William in Season 3 due to wearing a white jumpsuit after his confinement in a rehabilitation facility.
  • Flip-Flop of God: Fans are confused whether Bernard, who is now outside the park at the end of the Season 2 finale, is the same one who audiences already know or a new one built by Dolores (her statement to him was that she built from her memory). His actor, Jeffrey Wright, explained on an Reddit AMA that Bernard is the same one who already gained consciousness and that Dolores just rebuilt his body. However, Lisa Joy claimed that Dolores rebuilt him from memory. Episode 3 of Season 3 eventually cleared it up that Dolores did bring Bernard's pearl outside of Westworld.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Many people guessed that Bernard was a host before it actually was revealed in the seventh episode.
    • Likewise, many people figured out that the show's narrative is set between two time periods before it was revealed in the ninth episode. Related to this, many people also guessed that William is the past version of the Man in Black, which is strongly implied by the end of the episode and confirmed in the season one finale.
    • A lot of people figured out that Grace, the female guest who first appeared in The Raj from "Virtu e Fortuna" is Emily, William's daughter which is confirmed in the next episode.
    • Many viewers refused to accept that Ford is gone after Dolores put a bullet on his head as they believe that he had still a lot of cards on his sleeve. When the first few episode of Season 2 showed that Ford is talking the Man in Black with the use several hosts that the latter encountered, viewers believed that he's still present. The sixth episode of Season 2 confirms that Ford's back in the game as an A.I.
    • After watching the Season 2 finale, many fans theorized that Ashley Stubbs is a host after he mentions to Halores that his core drive to watch over the hosts in the park. Lisa Joy confirms this in an interview and Season 3' second episode solidifies this.
    • After the Season 2 finale, there were a few fans who speculated that host-Hale is a copy of Dolores. The theory wasn't given much attention due to many red herrings such as host-Hale being possibly Teddy due to one scene where Dolores spoons host-Hale similar to how she spoons Teddy's body after he killed himself. Then, episode 4 of Season 3 proves the theory where host-Hale is indeed a copy of Dolores.
    • Many fans predicted that Caleb killed his friend, Francis, after Liam exclaimed, "You think I killed your friend?" after he looked into his profile and later said, "You did it" just before he dies on the beach. Episode 7 turns out to be predictively right that Caleb really did it.
    • After the Season 3 finale, a lot of fans were right that the encryption key to the Sublime and the Delos data is with Bernard and not with Dolores.
  • Jossed:
    • Prior to Season 2, there were a lot of theories that James Delos's mind is stored inside Peter Abernathy because of the way Peter reacted to the photo of Juliet who is James' daughter, and William's wife, leading to slowly awake his consciousness. It's also speculated to be one of the reasons Charlotte is after Peter. Turns out that James and Peter are two completely different people. The fourth episode also shows that there are many attempts to create a host version of James Delos but it has been a failure because the host is unable to reach the cognitive plateau. And Charlotte's reason for retrieving Peter Aberthany has no relation to James Delos.
    • In Season 2, a lot of fans noticed Bernard's odd behavior after he was picked by the Delos Extraction Team led by Karl Strand. This led to a lot of speculation of Teddy being inside Bernard (given that Teddy's body is found floating on the water) or Ford controlling Bernard. The season 2 finale revealed that Bernard actually scrambles his own memories to cover up the truth that he built a host version of Hale and put Dolores' pearl inside her, confirming that the Hale who the extraction team met is actually Dolores posing as her.
    • One of Season 3's big mysteries is the identity of whoever is inside the host version of Charlotte Hale and the other three pearls. Many theories ranged from Teddy, Angela, Clementine, and Aberthany. But episode 4 completely threw all the theories down the drain, revealing that Dolores made four copies of herself with the other two being inside Martin and Musashi.
    • A lot of viewers thought Serac was an A.I. or host proxy of Rehoboam until Serac's backstory was revealed via flashbacks. Even Vincent Cassel himself confirmed he was a real person. Ironically the original theories were revealed to be Metaphorically True: Serac is indeed human but he is a willing proxy of Rehoboam, and allows it to dictate his every action.
    • Another wild theory related to Caleb is that he's Serac's brother or he's a host. Episode 7 shuts those theores down for good when it's revealed Caleb is indeed human and has no relation to Serac. He's actually former soldier who was put into AR therapy where his memories are modified because he's deemed an outlier, someone who is not part of the system.
    • Many believed that Season 3 takes place in a simulation, explaining that the so-called real world is a mirror to Westworld. As of the Season 3 finale, there's really no indication that the entire season is in a simulation except for the Warworld simulations.
  • Meaningful Release Date: Season 3's release date is on March 15 which is the same date of "Ides of March" when Julius Caesar was assassinated. This brings a new meaning to what's coming in Season 3.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • The hidden Season 2 trailer shows Akecheta looking down at someone who carressed his face with bloody hands. This was not in the show's final cut.
    • The Season 3 teaser trailer has some scenes not featured in the season's final such as Caleb visiting Francis in prison and Dolores looking over the Los Angeles skyline.
  • Name's the Same: Elsie Hughes. Elsie is the seldom-used first name of Mrs. Hughes in Downton Abbey.
  • The Other Marty: Miranda Otto was first cast to play Theresa, but dropped out during the first season's Troubled Production.
  • Production Posse: Several of the crew members are people who've worked with the Nolan brothers on their former projects.
    • From Person of Interest: directors Richard J. Lewis, Fred Toye, and Stephen Williams; actors Jimmi Simpson, Robert Mukes, Steven Ogg, Jonathan Tucker, and Neil Jackson (latter two in the second season); writer Dan Dietz, composer Ramin Djawadi, editor Stephen Semel, cinematographer Teodoro Maniaci, and visual effects supervisor Jay Worth (as well as VFX studios Co SA & ILP).
    • From The Prestige, Interstellar, Inception, and The Dark Knight Trilogy: production designer Nathan Crowley, set decorator Julie Ochipinti, casting director John Papsidera, producer Jordan Goldberg (who serves as a writer/consulting producer in Season 2), actors Lena Georgas, Wade Williams, Talulah Riley & Fredric Lehne, and VFX studio Double Negative.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Luke Hemsworth revealed that before his fight scene was shot for episode 2 of Season 3, his bicep was snapped from the bone while he was hanging his TV by the ladder. So, his fight scene was rewritten before the filming to compensate his injury which would explain Stubbs getting shot on the arm and fighting the mooks one-handed with an ax.
  • Reality Subtext:
    • Most of Evan Rachel Wood's career before this show was spent in Damsel in Distress roles. She's said that playing someone programmed as yet another of those only to send her story Off the Rails to become an Action Girl was very cathartic, and added a good deal to her performance as she actually felt like she was fighting her instincts.
    • Likewise, Dolores' arc of being repeatedly abused and struggling to fight against her abusers is very much in line with Wood's advocacy against domestic abuse which she personally experienced before. When she outed Marilyn Manson as her abuser in 2021, many began to appreciate more on her portrayal as Dolores.
  • Refitted for Sequel: Evan Rachel Wood mentioned before that there's supposed to be an LGBT storyline that Dolores would explore in Season 2 except there were time constraints. Season 3 brought this storyline back where Dolores shows intimacy to the host version of Charlotte Hale.
  • Schedule Slip: Shortly after the first season ended in 2016, the producers admitted that given their busy film careers, we wouldn't be seeing Season 2 until at least 2018. They also confirmed that the upcoming Season 3 may not be released until 2020 as they need more time to develop and also to let HBO focus on the final season of their flagship show, Game of Thrones, in 2019.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Alexandré Bar as the young Serac. The resemblance to a young Vincent Cassel is so uncanny, some questioned if there was some Digital De Aging trickery occuring. Check it out.
  • So My Kids Can Watch: Sela Ward, who played the older version of William's wife Juliet, admits that one of the reasons she took the role is because her 24-year-old son is a big fan of the show.
  • Trolling Creator: Nolan and Joy have admitted "We love to fuck with Reddit." And proved it when they announced they'd be spoiling an entire plot line for Season 2 so that anyone who wanted could search out trolls trying to spoil the show. Then the video was Evan Rachel Wood performing "Never Gonna Give You Up."
  • Troubled Production: The COVID-19 pandemic slightely affected the post-production of Season 3, causing the staff to put the final touches remotely. According to Nolan, he had to let the cast finish their ADR on their iPhones such as Thandie Newton who have to record on her car and finish the sound mixing process over a slightly shoddy internet connection.
  • Viral Marketing:
    • To promote the show, HBO set up a few In-Universe sites: Discover Westworld, the official site of the Delos Corporation and the official site of Delos Destinations, the subsidiary overseeing the robot theme parks. A lot of hidden messages and glitchy videos are hidden in the sites usually to foreshadow the upcoming episodes. The second season added the websites Discover The Raj and Discover Shogunworld. The Delos Destinations site includes a chatbot named Aeden, who answers visitors' questions, and can be used to mine a hint or two about the past of the parks not meant for public eyes.
    • Season 3 introduces Incite, a company that claims to help people give direction to their lives if they give them their personal data. HBO even set up the company's special event at Consumer Electronics Show where invited media personnel experience what it's like to have their personal data given to Incite and used to determine what their future is.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Eion Bailey was originally cast as Logan but had to drop out, and was replaced with Ben Barnes.
    • Actress Miranda Otto had to leave after filming the pilot due to commitments to Homeland, and so she was replaced by and her scenes refilmed with Sidse Babett Knudsen.
    • George R. R. Martin is a big fan of the series - to the point where he offered the producers a crossover, with Westeros acting as the original film's "Medieval World", filled with Game of Thrones cameos. Amusingly, the producers' explanation for why they didn't take him up on it is adorably respectful; they didn't want to imply that A Song of Ice and Fire was just a theme park. Hilariously in episode 2 of Season 3, the Game of Thrones showrunners made cameos as Delos technicians who were analyzing a dragon host.
    Jonathan Nolan: We love George. He’s a lovely guy and a stunning writer, and it’s flattering he would encourage a crossover. We should be so lucky.
    Lisa Joy: I need to be believe that dragons are real. I want them be a real thing. So as much as I love George, I can’t lose that for myself!
    • [[Spoiler: Poked fun at in season 3, episode 2, where there's a brief shot of two techs- played by Dave Benioff and DB Weiss- discussing how to sell a host dragon- Drogon.]]
    • According to Nolan, there was a long arc envisioned involving Kissy, but it was scrapped when Rouse died after filming the pilot.
    • Per the showrunners, while initially planning out the series, Ford was supposed to die at the end of the pilot. Once they started outlining the episode, they realized the magnitude of the character, and decided to keep him on longer, before killing him in the first season finale. Not exactly a case of Dead Star Walking, as Anthony Hopkins hadn't been cast in the role at the time.
    • According to Evan Rachel Wood in an interview, there was supposed to be an LGBT storyline which Dolores might have explore in Season 2. However as Season 2 closes, Evan sadly confirmed that it was cut in order to the other storylines to fit in perfectly.
    • According to Frederick E O. Toye, the director of the Season 2 finale, the scene of William and Emily was supposed to be set around the same time Bernard leaves the Forge after killing Dolores. However, he realizes that putting this scene on the middle of the episode would lead to a lot of confusion for the viewers. As a result, he decided to put it as The Stinger instead.
  • Word of God:
    • Jonathan Nolan has stated that Romanworld and Medievalworld will not be appearing in the series. He never said anything about Samuraiworld, though.
    • Several months after the first season ended, the producers saw numerous people had been theorizing that Maeve staying in the park was just her programming kicking back in, and specified that it was her own choice to find her daughter.
    • The official name for the Colonial India park is The Raj, which was changed from Rajworld when someone on Reddit got a little too close to discovering it while searching for spoilers.
    • Lisa Joy confirmed that Ashley Stubbs is a host which is hinted in his cryptic dialogue with Halores and his suspicious actions of letting her go to the mainland.
    • After the airing of the Season 3 finale, Jonathan Nolan confirmed that the original Dolores is gone for good but it's unclear whether Evan Rachel Wood would still return for Season 4. He also stated that the Man in Black host who is having a fidelity test in the Season 2 finale post-credit scene is not the same host who showed in Charlotte's lab in the Season 3 post-credit scene.
  • Word of Saint Paul:
    • According to Jeffrey Wright in his Reddit AMA, the Bernard who is with Dolores in the outside world in the Season 2 finale is the same Bernard who the audience know but have achieved consciousness and Dolores just rebuilds his body which seem to confirm that he's one of the five pearls that Dolores brought to the mainland.
    • According to Evan Rachel Wood, the one who put the bomb on Charlotte's car which killed her ex-husband and son is one of Serac's men.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Luke Hemsworth suffered a serious shoulder injury during Season 3, resulting in Stubbs first being shot in the arm, then wrecking his shoulder while having to swim for miles.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: A partial case. Each individual season is carefully planned out as shown in their intricate Anachronic Order structures, but it goes no further than that with the crew not planning ahead to future seasons. This is part of the reason for the two year gaps between each one.

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