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Is Westworld Season 5 Canceled By HBO?
Westworld first premiered in 2016 and instantly became a hit. To the dismay of its devoted audience, Westworld has concluded. After four seasons, HBO announced on Friday that they would not be moving forward with Season 5, which was intended to be the series’ final chapter.
Creating “Westworld” was one of the highlights of our careers, said Kilter Films’ Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy. We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to our phenomenal cast and crew for developing these unforgettable personalities and dazzling settings. Before our AI masters forbid it, we were given the incredible opportunity to share these visions of the future of consciousness, both human and otherwise.
“Over the past four seasons, Lisa and Jonah have taken viewers on a mind-bending odyssey, raising the bar at every turn,” HBO said in a statement. Everyone at Kilter Films, Bad Robot, and Warner Bros. Television, as well as the show’s incredibly talented cast, producers, and crew, deserves our deepest appreciation.
Having the opportunity to travel with them has been thrilling. In August, Joy told TheWrap that she and Nolan envisioned the fifth season as the final chapter of the show, though she also noted that there was no assurance the show would be renewed to see out the story.
We’ve always intended for next season to be the last,” Joy revealed. We always felt that ‘Westworld’ should circle back around to the West. However, who previously only participated in the stories of others, now has the opportunity to create her own.
Do we have a plan for Season 5?
This is just to wrap up a lot of the stuff we’ve already seen, like the flashforward with The Man in Black and everything. The show made a splashy debut on HBO in 2016 as a riff on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name, and according to Joy, they always planned for the Season 5 ending all along.
However, in Season 3, the A.I. protagonists landed on Earth and began interacting with the wider world expanding the scope of this “Westworld” beyond a theme park populated by robots. The events of Season 4 largely occurred in the post-human world after the A.I.
Robot takeover and the season concluded with Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores entering the Sublime, a cloud-like location where many of the remaining A.I. hosts had been uploaded to start “one last game” to see if any remnants of robot or human sentience could be preserved.
After a decline in viewership throughout Seasons 2 and 3, “Westworld” Season 4 ratings plummeted to a new low of 0.31 million viewers for the season finale. This compares to the show’s high of 2.24 million viewers for the Season 1 finale. The new CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery, David Zazlav, has been very focused on cutting costs, but sources close to the situation insist that this was not a factor in the decision to cancel “Westworld.”
Is Westworld’s Core Cast Will Still Be Paid For Season 5 After Cancellation?
All of the regulars reportedly signed pay-or-play contracts for Season 5. There was talk of the actors exercising their options sometime last year, presumably before Season 4 had even aired (the show’s production had been delayed due to the pandemic). In addition, the cast may have renegotiated their contracts around the same time.
This sort of action is fairly common. Before making a renewal decision, networks will sometimes pay to lock down a cast, especially if it includes A-listers who would be difficult to replace without contracts.
According to HBO, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris, and Aaron Paul head up the main cast of Westworld. The five of them attended Comic-Con International: 2019 to represent the show.
Original cast members Wood, Newton, Wright, and Harris renegotiated substantial pay increases after Season 2 that brought their average salary for Season 3 to about $250,000 per episode. Season 3 was when Paul joined the cast.
It is estimated that the cast is owed between $10 million and $15 million in salaries for Season 5. With the third season’s budget estimated at $100 million, or about $10 million per episode, continuing with the fifth season would have cost HBO well over $80 million.
Sources say that viewership versus cost was the deciding factor in the cancellation decision, just as it is in renewal decisions at Netflix. The popularity of Westworld has been diminishing over the course of its current season.
The creative response to Westworld improved from Season 3 to Season 4 (from 73% to 75% on Rotten Tomatoes), but viewers have become increasingly vocal about the show’s increasingly complex mythology and storylines.
The decision to cancel follows a difficult quarterly earnings report by HBO parent Warner Bros. Discovery, which was released the day before the cancellation. On the subsequent conference call, WBD CEO David Zaslav announced a $500 million increase in the company’s savings goal, bringing it to $3.5 billion.
This grand experiment of creating something at any cost is over, he declared. The 1973 film Westworld by Michael Crichton was adapted into the HBO series Westworld, a dark odyssey about the beginning of artificial consciousness and the question of free will.
Creators Nolan and Joy are credited for Season 4, with Executive Producers J. J. Abrams, Alison Schapker, Athena Wickham, Richard J. Lewis, Denise Thé, and Ben Stephenson, and production companies Kilter Films and Bad Robot, in association with Warner Bros.
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