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Westworld hasn’t even debuted, but HBO is already planning the next five seasons

The network is seriously banking on this one

Westworld principal photography HBO

HBO’s highly anticipated upcoming sci-fi series from J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan, Westworld, has faced a barrage of production issues leading to massive delays, but it appears the network has the utmost faith in the project, according to an interview with Entertainment Weekly.

Actor James Marsden, who plays Teddy Flood on the show, told Entertainment Weekly that the showrunners focus wasn’t just on the first season, but the next five or six years. According to the actor, the executive producers wanted to plot out the entire show up until its finale and have that goal in mind from the very first episode.

"We wanted everything in line so that when the very last episode airs and we have our show finale, five or seven years down the line, we knew how it was going to end the first season," Marsden said.

Concerns about the show were raised by both fans and reporters earlier on in the series’ production after the premiere date kept getting pushed back by the network. Nolan addressed the issues, adding that their production team viewed their planning method the same way the Game of Thrones team did. Nolan said that unlike Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, they didn’t have a series of incredibly detailed books to work off of, so they had to invent major details while still staying true to Michael Crichton’s 1973 film.

"We have a fantastic original film, but that’s a little under two hours of storytelling," Nolan said. "So our joke was we have to write the ‘novels’ first, and then adapt them and then go shoot them."

Now, Westworld is gearing up for its October premiere, and Nolan said that the first season will set the stage for the world they wanted to bring audiences into. Nolan added that it’s going to be a massive universe, in terms of just how expansive television could go, with the goal to make it bigger each season.

Westworld premieres on Oct. 2 at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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