“Westworld” Cast To Be Paid Despite Axing


Despite HBO officially dropping the axe on the fifth season of its dystopian sci-fi series “Westworld,” the key cast members involved won’t be hurting.

Deadline reports that the show’s main cast members will be paid for a full fifth season, regardless of the fact that it will not be produced, as they had pay-or-play deals.

The actors’ options came up sometime last year before Season 4 aired, and they were exercised. In fact, there’s talk they may have renegotiated their deals at that time which suggests an even higher payday.

Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris and Aaron Paul are series regulars, with HBO expected to spend $10-15 million paying out their fifth-season deals. By scrapping the season, the network is expected to save over $80 million as each season of the series costs in the $100 million range to produce.

The cancellation decision reportedly came down to an issue of viewership vs. cost – the show’s ratings have declined steadily throughout its run.

The show’s creators, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, won’t have any issues. The pair are in high demand, and recently executive produced “The Peripheral,” are at work on Amazon’s “Fallout” series, and are developing an adaptation of Jo Nesbo’s “The Son”.

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