Westworld Was Inspired By The Pirates Of The Caribbean And NASA Employees
The TV series Westworld was inspired by a lot of things, like the video games Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto, plus the general dogshit nature of humanity. But we're pretty sure its primary source of inspiration was the 1973 movie with, get this, the same name.
Sadly, you don't get to see Yul Brynner.
Michael Crichton's movie/neverending parade of mustaches and giant collars was way ahead of its time, showing a glimpse of the moral issues behind simulated experiences. So where did Crichton get the idea for a (non-dinosaur-filled) theme park that goes haywire? Like millions of soul-destroying family vacations, it all goes back to Disneyland.
As Crichton was enjoying The Pirates Of The Caribbean ride, his mind wandered to Chaos Theory -- which is exactly the kind of deep thought that those distracting Johnny Depp cameos ruin. He wondered what would happen if the robots attacked the guests, what people actually would want to do with lifelike robots, and what the best location would be for a giant bunker full of spare genitals.
In fact, Crichton's original idea was so indebted to this one ride, the original story was to be called Pirate World, and only changed it to a cowboy theme because he was "concerned that Disney might sue." Crichton's other bit of inspiration was decidedly weirder, and came after visiting the Kennedy Space Center. He noted that the astronauts in training were being trained to the point of being machines, "working very hard to make their responses, and even their heartbeats, as machine-like and predictable as possible."
He became fascinated with "the idea of playing with a situation in which the usual distinctions between person and machine -- between a car and the driver of the car -- become blurred." Which you have to admit, would sound goddamned profound coming out of the mouth of Sir Anthony Hopkins.
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