Each piece of advertising for HBO’s Westworld (adapted from the Michael Crichton movie by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy) gets creepier and creepier: Alongside uncanny valley shots of the robots being made, now we get a peek into their artificial consciousnesses with the latest trailer. Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) alternates between her waking life, an idyllic existence at the retro futuristic theme park of the title, and dreams of disturbing naked interviews with Dr. Robert Ford (Anthony Hopkins)—who’s very interested not in the content of her dreams, but in the fact that she’s dreaming at all.
“Dreams mean everything. They’re the stories we tell ourselves… of what could be… of who we could become.”
The entire preview toggles between these mirror-image moments, from Wild West cowboys carousing in taverns and shooting up stark warehouses filled with mannequin-like bodies; and an especially disturbing moment where Thandie Newton’s character getting her hair combed contrasts with the same woman almost getting scalped.
The emphasis on dreams, in this trailer and others, has us wondering about the mechanics of Westworld itself. Is this a physical theme park, or some sort of mass simulation that customers and mass-produced robots jack into? Is Westworld the figurative dream, of a theme park where you can live out your wildest fantasies, or a literal dream hooking up human and artificial intelligences alike? Judge for yourself by watching the trailer below, though be warned at least one part is NSFW in that HBO way:
Westworld premieres October 2 on HBO.