Production on “Westworld” season two has not been an easy process.
First, everything ground to a halt when a key cast member fell sick, although HBO has been less than eager to give out too many details on this event.
Now, wildfires across California have made it impossible for the show to continue.
With so many delays and set-backs, it’s easy to begin wondering whether “Westworld” will ever return – especially considering just how much work went into the first season of the show.
Certainly, it seems as if HBO isn’t counting on “Westworld” being the new “Game of Thrones” – network heads have discussed their eagerness to find some other new big property to secure their future.
We’ll almost certainly get season two of “Westworld” eventually, but it’ll probably take a lot longer than fans would like, and by that point, HBO may wonder whether it’s worth producing a third season of the show.
Part of the problem is the size and scope of “Westworld”. There are a lot of key moving parts – big name actors, large sets, and expensive, time-consuming CGI. Putting together an entire season of this show takes a lot of effort from many different people, and as such, it’s hardly surprising that things seem to go wrong so often.
The first season of “Westworld” took over two years to make it to television, so attempting to get season two off the ground in a shorter time-frame was fairly ambitious on HBO’s part from the start. This is a movie-quality show, with a movie-length production period.
It could be argued that “Westworld” would do better on the big screen, in a long-running franchise, where only a single episode is expected every couple of years.
The line between episodic television and moviemaking has been blurring in recent years, and while franchises like “Fast and Furious” prove that fans will happily turn up only a few times a decade to see a continuing story, “Westworld” is trapped trying to deliver TV-style long-form storytelling with a production schedule more complicated and difficult than any big budget motion picture.
Probably, when HBO executives express hesitancy at assuming that “Westworld” will be the future of their network, they’re specifically worrying about the cost in time and resources that the show creates.
“Westworld” isn’t ever going to be as big as “Game of Thrones”, because it can’t come out every year (ish), and its production costs are too high to make it a nice, consistent earner for HBO.
Perhaps this is good news, as it means that HBO is still seeking for new original content that brings a high level of quality to the network.
Don’t expect “Westworld” to ever become an annual experience, though – this is a treat that comes around every few years, not a constant staple on the landscape of television.