Warning: Minor spoilers ahead for “Westworld.”
HBO’s latest series “Westworld” premiered October 2, and the Western sci-fi mashup is already gaining traction among television viewers. But many people may not realise “Westworld” is based on a 1973 movie of the same name, written and directed by Michael Crichton.
For those who are aware of the original film, HBO’s writers and set designers sneaked in a couple of clever Easter egg references to the 1973 movie.
One came when Bernard Lowe (Jeffery Wright) takes an elevator down to the cold “livestock” storage area. Just to the right of his head, you can read “DELOS” in block lettering.
In the original movie, Delos is the name of the entire theme park which is then divided into three sections: Western World, Roman World, and Medieval World. But the HBO show title (and contents so far) indicate a 100% focus on Western World, or “Westworld.”
By plugging the name Delos into the show (as well as some marketing websites), the writers could be leaving it open to possibly explore the other worlds from the original movie. Even if this isn’t the case, it’s still a fun Easter egg for fans of the earlier “Westworld” story.
Another callback to the storyline in the 1973 film comes from a wanted poster seen by Teddy (James Marsden) in the opening scenes.
In the original movie, the two human protagonists are park guests named Peter and John. While getting into gun fights and causing trouble during their visit to Western World, Peter winds up arrested by the sheriff on murder charges.
John devises a plan to help him escape by blowing up the side of the jailhouse. In the process, he kills the sheriff as they flee the scene. Peter and John then hide in the mountains for a while until the dust settles.
The man on the wanted poster in the “Westworld” pilot looks very similar to Peter, and the story told by the men planning on hunting him down will sound familiar too.
“A murderous son of a bitch named Hector Escaton gunned down the marshall and he’s holed up in the mountains,” the host says to a small crowd. Substitute marshall for sheriff, and this sounds exactly like Peter and John’s combined actions from the original movie.
Later in the episode we learn that Hector Escaton is a host with a wildly different narrative than Peter and John’s human adventures, but this first introduction definitely feels like a callback to the original “Westworld.”
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