Westworld cancellation will cost HBO Max a million

Surely by now you have heard the news of the month: the famous series Westworld has been canceled and there will not be a fifth season with which to close its story. Although the cancellation of a project generally implies a significant saving of money for any company, the truth is that in the case of the HBO Max fiction it will also mean an outlay of between 10 and 15 million dollars. There is nothing.

Despite the low audience data, many trusted that HBO would give Westworld a worthy ending – this is what its creators always say, pointing out that there would be a fifth season. It won’t happen like that. Warner’s content platform announced just a few days ago that they put an end to the trajectory of this sci-fi series that gave him so much joy in the past.

Westworld cancellation will cost HBO Max a million

A surprise farewell

That Westworld ‘s audience had plummeted was a fact we all knew. The series created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy kicked off with an outstanding first season that left us all speechless: an amusement park inspired by the Wild West, especially designed for adults, in which all its extras are humanoids (very but very real) with artificial intelligence. The idea sounds great until you realize that many visitors take advantage of attending Westworld, as the park is called, to unleash their darkest and most twisted desires (such as raping, torturing or killing people).

His season finale left us wanting more and the start of the second season was not so horrible either (although it was weaker than the previous one): the humanoids had ended up gaining “life” and consciousness and had had enough of being the dolls to use and pull the park so they start their own revolution. Here the series already showed certain signs of tiredness (rather than that after the surprise factor of the first installment, they did not know exactly which way to go), but the worst came with the third season.


The latter made many fans get off the car – the writer of these lines is also included -, for developing a plot that had completely gotten out of hand to its creators. The result? A fourth season that few were looking forward to but that also arrived just a few months ago to continue the story – for which a fifth (and last) installment had already been confirmed.

For all this and for what the series represents (it is one of the most expensive series on television that had been erected, in a certain way, as the one in charge of collecting the baton of success of Game of Thrones ), we never expected its cancellation. This, however, arrived this Friday and has left fans literally abandoned and without the possibility of knowing what ending they were going to give their beloved Westworld.

Expenses continue

Undoubtedly, this cancellation is nothing more than a reflection that the numbers have not been sufficient for the high investment cost of a series like this. It is usually the usual in these cases: the expense is greater than the benefit and that implies cutting to the chase before continuing to lose money . However, in the case of Westworld, it will not be exactly like that.

As we have already indicated, the fifth season was already confirmed and planned and that means that the contracts with the actors in the series were already signed. According to Deadline, the protagonists renewed last year, even before the broadcast of the fourth installment -which had been delayed by the pandemic- signing a pay-or-play type agreement . This type of contract guarantees payment even if in the end the episodes, for whatever reason, are not broadcast or the actors are not finally available for filming. It is a risky contract, yes, but, on the other hand, it is not so rare in that world, being the best way to ensure that an actor is not going to go to another project (especially if it is someone with a lot of weight that would be very difficult to replace).


It is estimated that the salary of the main cast (composed of Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris and Aaron Paul) should add between 10 and 15 million dollars , which HBO will therefore have to pay yes or yes.

Considering that the average budget per episode in the third season was 10 million dollars, it could be said that 15 million “is nothing”. Still, it’s a painful amount for a platform whose CEO recently declared that ” the great experiment of creating something at zero cost is over .”