‘Westworld’ Star Jimmi Simpson: ‘Don’t Expect It to End Like the Movie’
Four episodes down the rabbit hole of HBO’s Westworld, and the theories are still flying in every direction. William and the Man in Black are one person, Bernard’s a robot, Megan Draper wargs into Sharon Tate, and so on, and so forth. Star Jimmi Simpson is continually downplaying theories about his character, however, as well that his story will end in any way like the 1973 film.
You’re warned of possible spoilers for Westworld from here on out, but if you hadn’t heard, viewers remain divided on whether the adapted HBO drama unfolds in one unifying present day, or if repeated flashbacks and visions signify a stealth narrative woven across several timelines. That theory in particular stems most from suggestions that William (Simpson) and the Man in Black (Ed Harris) are actually the same person on their first, and final trips to the park, 30 years apart.
Simpson himself previously admitted to flattery with the comparison, as well that he’d actually auditioned for another role, and thereby wasn’t chosen for potential resemblance to Harris. A new interview with The Hollywood Reporter sees the Always Sunny star unwilling to snuff out the theory entirely, but adamant that Westworld cares more for the “Host” perspective than any potential twist for his character:
I can’t comment on anything. I wish I could say how wrong or right [the theories] are, but you guys have to wait just like we did […] The way I describe William and Logan to someone who has seen the movie, is that it’s as if they took Benjamin and Brolin and put them as the fifth storyline. The first storyline is the POV of the hosts. Jonah and Lisa completely flipped it around. I wish the series was all about my character ending up somewhere, but it’s about the hosts. I don’t want anyone’s expectations [to get up for] the wrong journey. It’s the hosts’ journey. Don’t expect it to end in any way like the movie.
Spoilers for 1973, but the original film ended with Richard Benjamin (ostensibly Simpson)’s character fleeing from Yul Brynner’s robotic Gunslinger, Terminator-style, before finally vanquishing his foe. Obviously, Harris’ human “Man in Black” is on nowhere near the same trajectory as the original Gunslinger, but all the same, Simpson’s point about the HBO series not building to William’s survival stands.
It’s still theoretically possible William could turn out to be the Man in Black, but I’m inclined to agree that Westworld is geared too much toward the robot perspective to turn around and make the narrative about William’s 30-year journey. There are still plenty of other theories to play with, but is this one gone for good?
Check out the latest Westworld trailer, while we venture further into the maze for answers.