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HBO suddenly cancels Westworld, leaving little room for a conclusion

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HBO just killed Westworld, putting its ‘hosts’ and other occupants of its mystery-box thriller into the ‘off’ position in a Friday afternoon news dump. This means there will be no season 5 to tie everything up.

The sophisticated sci-fi drama, which saw amusement parks for the wealthy stocked with AI-powered ‘hosts’ to entertain and terrify their guests, concludes with Westworld season 4, which premiered in August. The news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab).

Westworld was critically acclaimed from the start, but things began to fall apart between the second and third seasons. The series had yet to complete its tangled plot, but HBO and HBO Max are now part of the Warner Bros Discovery conglomerate, which is more budget-conscious than previously.

And with Westworld’s ratings plummeting(opens in new tab) twice — once for its third season (0.8 million average viewers compared to season 2’s 1.6 million) and again for the most recent season (0.3 million average viewers), expectations couldn’t have been too high. “Insiders claim that [CEO David Zaslav’s proclivity for cost-cutting] was not a factor in this decision,” according to THR.

“Over the past four seasons, [co-creators] Lisa [Joy] and [Jonathan Nolan] have led viewers on a mind-bending voyage, upping the bar at every turn,” HBO said in a statement. We are really grateful to them, as well as their incredibly brilliant actors, producers, and crew.

Is there any chance of a Westworld conclusion?

We’re not hopeful, dear reader.

The only conclusion we can think of is a feature-length Westworld film, most likely on the service that will arise from the planned HBO Max and Discovery Plus merger.

Except there’s already a pattern where Max Original films don’t do well. When it came time to make cuts, WBD was willing to write off the Batgirl film. It’d already spent $90 million on it.

We believe it will take many more years, as well as a groundswell of fan support and high viewership numbers, for this kind of miracle to occur.

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