Back to IndieWire

James Marsden: HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Decision Should Have Been ‘About More than Financial Success’

"It would have been nice to be able to complete the story we wanted to finish," Marsden said of the series that shockingly got the axe in November.

Westworld Season 2 Evan Rachel Wood James Marsden

Evan Rachel Wood and James Marsden in “Westworld”

John P. Johnson/HBO

James Marsden is finally addressing Warner Bros. Discovery and HBO pulling the plug on “Westworld.”

“I’d be lying to you if I told you that the way we ended ‘Westworld’ wasn’t a disappointment,” Marsden told Rolling Stone. “I’m never going to speak without gratitude about any of my experiences, but it would have been nice to be able to complete the story we wanted to finish.”

The Emmy-winning sci-fi series met an untimely end after the company announced that “Westworld” was canceled in November 2022. Marsden starred alongside Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Aaron Paul, Ariana DeBose, and Luke Hemsworth in the show created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy. Since premiering in 2016, “Westworld” garnered 54 Emmy nominations. Its fourth and final season ended in August.

Marsden continued, “I love this ‘Westworld’ family. It was one of those unique opportunities to be part of something where I also would be sitting at home ravenously waiting for the next episode as a fan.”

Yet Marsden pointed to the emphasis at Warner Bros. Discovery on the bottom line: “I totally understand it’s an expensive show and big shows have to have big audiences to merit the expense, I just wish it was about more than financial success.”

The “Disenchanted” actor is still hoping to revisit “Westworld” at some point.

“Who knows, maybe there’s some world where it can get completed somehow,” Marsden said. “Maybe that’s just wishful thinking, because I know we had plans to finish it the way we wanted to.”

Co-star Hemsworth called the series cancellation a massive “disappointment” for the cast.

“You hope these things go forever, but everyone’s got their own reasons,” Hemsworth previously told Entertainment Tonight. “I’m very thankful for my part in that series, and that journey was a big part of my life, but yeah, it was disappointing.”

While HBO has since pulled “Westworld” entirely from HBO Max, one place you can expect to find it soon? Via free ad-supported television (FAST), as Warner Bros. Discovery heads into that space to expand the reach of some of its legacy and prematurely canceled titles.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox