Even before the series premiere of “Westworld,” the issue of how to depict violence toward women has been discussed by the show’s creators and critics. In a new promo for the series, strong female leads, Maeve (Thandie Newton) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) show signs of self-awareness, defiance and movement beyond the boundaries of humanoid intelligence.
At the Television Critics Association summer press tour, co-creator and executive producer Lisa Joy addressed the serious nature of these issues and explained the importance of their inclusion in the show.
“[‘Westworld’] is about the best parts of human nature, but also the basest parts of human nature and that includes violence and sexual violence,” she said. “[Rape] has been a part of our nature since the beginning.”
The series takes a gritty western backdrop and mixes in heavy themes of artificial intelligence, fantasy and human ethics. Much like sci-fi hits “The Matrix,” “Avatar” and “Inception,” the lines between fantasy and reality are blurred to a point of near invisibility.
“Westworld” premieres on Sunday Oct. 2 at 9pm EST — subscribers can watch all 10 weekly episodes on HBO or catch the stream on HBO NOW and HBO GO. The series also stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris and James Marsden.
Watch the short, suspenseful preview below, and perhaps dive in and explore the “Westworld” experience for yourself.