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Westworld - Remake vs Original

Updated on November 7, 2019
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Since 2008 John has worked on over 800 productions ranging from television shows to commercials and films. Plus you can find him on YouTube.

Westworld - Wallpaper
Westworld - Wallpaper | Source

How the Westworld HBO Series Differs from the Original Movie

[Spoiler Alert] If you haven't watched the original 1973 Westworld movie, or the new HBO series of Westworld.. there will be spoilers!

The basic premise of Westworld is the same for both. Set in the future, wealthy human guests can pay to live out whatever fantasies they want in some Disney style theme parks (albeit built around some adult twists!) Westworld is set in the Old West with cowboys and all that comes with that.

We don't see the other theme parks until Season 2 of the HBO series. There is only a glimpse of them in the sequel of the original, Futureworld. While both are set in a time where robots are so advanced to resemble humans, how the plots unfold is considerably different.

In the original Westworld movie we are provided a lot of exposition on how the world offering the wealthy such decadent delights works. We see things mostly from the human guests' point of view.

The Westworld HBO series more or less throws us into its world and what is happening from the perspective of a robot named Dolores (played by charismatic actress Evan Rachel Wood, see below). A lot of the story slowly unfold as a mystery, and there is a lot of timeline jumping for the purpose of narrative.

Yul Brunner as the "original" Man in Black, Westworld (1973)

Yul Brunner as the Man in Black, Westworld (1973)
Yul Brunner as the Man in Black, Westworld (1973) | Source

Ed Harris as the new Man in Black, Westworld (2016)

Ed Harris - Man in Black, Westworld (2016)
Ed Harris - Man in Black, Westworld (2016) | Source

The Man in Black - Westworld Original vs Remake

Whereas the Man in Black from the original Westworld movie (played by Yul Brynner) is the lead antagonist, we are not sure what he (played by actor Ed Harris) is in the HBO series. Not only is there a lot of mystery around the Man in Black for the series, his character seems to be a human this time.

SPOILER ALERT: In fact, a HUGE reveal is that the Man in Black is actually a major character we see throughout the series. With the way things play out this is a startling revelation.

Up to that point the other character William seems to be in love with Dolores. She seems to be a central character that is trying to leave the park. Part of the mystery revolves whether this is a glitch (which the original Westworld makes clear,) or something within her programming.

Actress Evan Rachel Wood as Dolores - Westworld HBO Series

Dolores - Westworld HBO Series played by Evan Rachel Wood
Dolores - Westworld HBO Series played by Evan Rachel Wood | Source

Unraveling the Mystery Behind the Westworld HBO Series

While the original film has some top performances from the likes of Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin, the topnotch cast really make the HBO series what it is:

Sir Anthony Hopkins
Thandie Newton
Jeffrey Wright
James Marsden
Tessa Thompson ..and more!

(, soon to join in Season 3: Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad)

Whereas the 1973 original movie has a "in your face" robots on the loose premise, we are really not sure what is going on for the HBO series. There are a lot of clues along the way of first season as things unravel.

Then, in Season 2 we see the larger world of what is happening with the Delos Corporation. While this mirrors the Futureworld sequel as mentioned, the resemblance quickly evaporates as we dive a lot deeper into additional characters added to the series.

Westworld Cast & Crew - Comic Con Panel
Westworld Cast & Crew - Comic Con Panel | Source

Watch Westworld Remake vs Original on YouTube

Show Notes - Westworld Remake vs. Original

Here's some of what this Westworld Remake vs Original discussion covers:

1:22 what other film / television YouTube shows and podcasts are missing

3:50 how AI is being used for good vs. evil

for more on the dark side of YouTube AI -

7:28 why Westworld’s vision of living out fantasies is like our web’s scary reality

10:30 does our behavior online spill over into our lives IRL?

12:00 are human beings really simple robots with dark impulses?

14:28 how we may lose control of technology and have it turn on us?

17:10 can the human mind exist in a robot’s body?

2016 - progress of AI and its hardware

19:42 why different types of AI - specialized vs general - matter

25:30 will uploading our consciousness onto the internet really be “us”?

30:24 how Westworld reflects real life and humans living in their own loops

32:15 how our imperfect memory protects us from painful ones

34:12 what the HBO Westworld remake offers with its vision

37:10 art imitating life imitating art - Westworld then and now reflects current technology

40:12 maybe we read more into shows than intended - feminism in Westworld

42:20 meaning of women’s roles in Westworld

44:40 Dolores vs Maeve representing women’s paths

46:20 how we’re "passengers" for memes, or programming - Richard Dawkins’ Selfish Gene

47:50 what is the role of free will vs programming

50:20 human vs robots’ rights - parallel of Westworld to China emergence as leading world power

52:58 relevance of sci-fi to current reality

57:24 what’s coming up for Westworld Season 3

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 John Chang


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