Westworld Showrunner Talks Season 2's "Spectacular" Shogun World
"This was just a great excuse to go and make a samurai movie with all the trimmings."
There has been much excitement amongst fans of HBO's acclaimed sci-fi drama Westworld about the existence of Shogun World. The samurai-themed park was first teased in the final episode of Season 1, and last week, the viral promotional site the Delos Experience dropped some major hints about its role in the upcoming Season 2. Now joint-showrunner Jonathan Nolan has spoken about Shogun World.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Nolan explained that there were two major reasons to introduce the park into Westworld Season 2, the first being geographical. "If you're doing a theme park, you wouldn't limit it to the Western European or North American experience," he said. "You'd try to reach a global audience. So the idea is you have a texture here that's totally different."
Nolan went on to explain that main draw was in fact his love Japanese cinema, in particular the classic samurai movies of Akira Kurosawa, and the way they were sometimes remade in the US as westerns. "It comes down to being obsessed with Japanese cinema as a kid and earnestly wanting to make an homage to Kurosawa and the other films I grew up watching," he said. "My older brothers and I watched Sergio Leone westerns and Kurosawa's classic samurai films and were fascinated to discover they had the same plot.
"You had this wonderful call and response between these two genres--with the gunslinger and the ronin. They have identical tropes but are set within different cultures. Frankly, this was just a great excuse to go and make a samurai movie with all the trimmings."
However, Nolan was also quick to temper expectations about how much of Shogun World fans will see in Westworld Season 2. "Most of our season is spent in Westworld," he confirmed. "But we do get a chance to glimpse some of the other worlds. And we have a couple of episodes that are spent in Shogun World with one of our storylines, while our other storylines continue elsewhere. So I say we're trying to temper expectations, except to say that I think the stuff we did for Shogun World is spectacular."
As well as Shogun World, the Delos Experience site also revealed that there are a further four parks which are currently "closed to the public." There has been much speculation about what these other worlds could be. The 1976 sequel to original 1973 movie Westworld was titled Futureworld, and it featured a number of different parks, including Medieval World, Roman World, and, er, Spa World.