HBO’s Westworld looks to Red Dead Redemption and BioShock for inspiration

While many people only know Jonathan Nolan as Christopher Nolan’s less-famous brother, the younger Nolan has his own rather impressive career in Hollywood. In addition to co-writing The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Prestige, and Interstellar, he is also the creator of Person of Interest and the driving force behind HBO’s Westworld reboot. Originally released in 1973 (and parodied hilariously in the “Itchy & Scratchy Land” episode of The Simpsons), Westworld takes place within the walls of a futuristic amusement park where the life-like robots eventually run amok.

Before you ask, yes, the original movie was written and directed by Michael Crichton.

But in turning the story into a television show, Nolan wants to go beyond Crichton’s original concept and he’s looking to video games for his inspiration. Naturally, Rockstar’s classic western, Red Dead Redemption, is at the top of the list. However, Nolan told Esquire‘s Matt Patches that the underwater world of Irrational’s BioShock also informed his latest creation.

Finally, Nolan cited an “interactive play,” Sleep No More, as a third inspiration. A similar interactive theatre experience, Tamara, directly inspired Tom Zito to develop Night Trap, and other full motion video games, in the mid-90s.

HBO’s Westworld reboot will premiere sometime next year and will star Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, and Jeffrey Wright. The first teaser trailer, which was released yesterday, has been embedded above.

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John Scalzo is Warp Zoned’s Editor-In-Chief and resident retro gaming expert. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at john AT warpzoned DOT com.

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