The US state of Utah takes centre stage again as hit HBO series returns for its second season
Strike up the self-playing piano, it’s time to return to Westworld. On 22 April the award-winning HBO series, created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, rides back onto our screens. And, yet again, the production team turned to the rugged beauty of mountainous Utah for the breathtaking backdrop to their mind-bending drama.
Season One of Westworld – the cerebral, blood-soaked thriller starring Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden and Ed Harris – saw the robotic ‘hosts’ of a futuristic theme park rebelling against their shortsighted creators and sadistic paying guests. Now the action picks up with many of our automated protagonists on the run, in the stunning environs of real-life Utah.
Much of Season Two was filmed amid the magnificent state parks, national monuments and wilds of Utah’s eye-catching Kane County, specifically the deep, fiery reds of the Vermilion Cliffs. A little further west, Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park (great for sandboarding and 4×4 driving) also gets plenty of screen time, while sprawling Lake Powell (a perennially popular spot with kayakers and water sports enthusiasts from across North America) has its own role to play.
Utah – home to the annual Sundance Film Festival – is no stranger to big-budget TV and movie productions, from Stagecoach and How The West Was Won to Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid and Thelma and Louise. But there’s something particularly fitting about HBO making the Beehive State – a natural amusement park of the highest order in its own right – the real life setting for their vision of Westworld.
Becky Johnson, Senior Global Manager for the Utah Office of Tourism, Film & Global Branding, comments: “TV producers and filmmakers have been coming to Utah to tell their stories for decades, but we’re particularly pleased to be able to call ourselves the home of Westworld now too. Needless to say the real-life Utah is a lot safer, if no less dramatic.”
For more information on Utah, or to plan your own visit to ‘Westworld’, see www.visitutah.com/uk