“Westworld” will not get a chance to finish its story after the critically acclaimed sci-fi drama was cancelled by HBO on Friday…
“Westworld” has officially been cancelled by HBO.
The surprising move was announced on Friday after the WarnerBros-Discovery owned network decided not to move forward with a potential fifth and final season of the once critically acclaimed science fiction series from Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.
“Over the past four seasons, Lisa and [Jonathan] have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every step,” HBO said in a statement. “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.”
“Westworld” — originally based upon a 1973 film from Michael Crichton — was developed and debuted as a hit for HBO in 2016 with an all-star cast that included multi-time Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins as well as Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Thandiwe Newton, James Marsden, Tessa Thompson, Jimmi Simpson and Luke Hemsworth.
The first season of the show averaged 12 million viewers and earned a slew of Emmy nominations, which helped HBO justify the continuation of the series that reportedly cost more than $100 million to make. “Westworld” continued making waves with season 2, which quickly earned the series a quick renewal for season 3 as well.
Unfortunately, the show started to suffer from ratings decline as well as a harsher reception from audiences and critics who often complained about the confusing, over complicated storylines that only continued to get more and more tangled with each passing episode.
By the time season 4 aired on HBO, “Westworld” was averaging just 4 million viewers per episode and the cost of the show only continued to get higher.
That ultimately led to the decision for HBO to pull the plug on “Westworld” despite Nolan and Joy hoping they would get a fifth season to wrap up the series, which was initially pitched as a six season run.
While “Westworld” won’t continue, the core cast of the current series, which includes Wood, Wright, Newton and “Breaking Bad” star Aaron Paul will actually still be paid for season 5 even without it being produced. According to a report from Deadline, the actors had all negotiated a pay-or-play deal for a fifth season, which means they’ll all get paid from HBO even with the series no longer moving forward.
That cost may run around $15 million in total but that’s still far less than the $100 million price tag another season of “Westworld” would have cost Warner Bros. Discovery, which has been in cost-cutting mode in recent months.