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HBO's robot cowboy drama 'Westworld' to premiere in October

HBO's Westworld premieres on Oct. 2 at 9 p.m., just shy of two years after it was first announced in 2014.

The series is inspired by the late Michael Crichton's 1973 film in which a future-world amusement park's lifelike robots malfunction and start murdering guests. The HBO take, created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, expands on that premise in a way that touches on current tech trends.

Nolan explained in a prepared statement that he'd like the show to ask the question, "If you could be completely immersed in a fantasy, one in which you could do whatever you wanted, would you discover things about yourself that you didn’t want to know?"

This is a direct extension of questions raised by our own early virtual reality experiences, which aim for the complete immersion Nolan speaks about. Westworld's lifelike automatons wrap an analog skin around a virtual being, but that, too, nods toward present-day advancements in robotics.

"We also wanted to explore what it means to be human from the outside in — through the eyes of the ‘hosts’: the lifelike AI characters that are the main attractions of the park," Joy said in a statement.

The show's ability to pull that off will likely hinge on the sizeable cast HBO has assembled for Westworld. A newly released set of character descriptions highlights stars Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Sidse Babett Knudson, Jimmi Simpson, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ben Barnes, Simon Quarterman, Angela Sarafyan, Luke Hemsworth and Clifton Collins, Jr.

HBO premiered the first trailer for Westworld back in June.

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