What am I looking at? You may ask yourself that question as you watch the teaser trailer for the new HBO original series Westworld. Evoking the dreamlike quality of films like Inception or The Matrix, the trailer quickly establishes a virtual world where customers enter a portrayal of the Wild West. There’s more at work than meets the eye, and a maddening lack of clarity regarding what’s real and what’s not.
The series proceeds from a 1973 feature film of the same name which starred Yul Brynner as a malfunctioning robotic gunslinger in a futuristic adult-themed amusement park. Producers J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan seem poised to modernize and expound upon that concept. The series boasts an impressive cast, including Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, James Marsden, and Thandie Newton.