Singapore’s Central Business District skyline was spotted by eagle-eyed viewers in the Season 3 debut trailer of HBO’s sci-fi hit series Westworld released on May 20. At around the 50-second mark, there's a flash of a futuristic but familiar city scape at night, or at least part of it.
As noted by fans on Reddit, Maybank Tower, with its prominent yellow logo, alongside other familiar landmarks of UOB Plaza and HSBC Building, were what gave the location away. Others pointed out that the shot might actually be a composite of several city skylines.
Now, it seems there might just be a little more of Singapore in Season 3 than a trailer appearance.
On Jun 1, Singapore talent agency Fly Entertainment released a casting call on their Facebook page. “We are currently scouting for talents to present for a HBO Production. Open to experienced and trained, male and female actors based in Singapore,” read the notice. “Cast are all day players… and all scenes are with lead actors.”
The casting director listed on the call for submissions is John Papsidera – who is known for casting Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Interstellar and Dunkirk, and has served as casting director for both Season 1 and 2 of Westworld.
Shoot dates are listed as Jul 1 to 9, which falls into Season 3's production timeline. Production officially started in March this year.
Sources also told CNA Lifestyle that Westworld co-creator and executive producer Jonathan Nolan (brother of director Christopher) was in Singapore recently.
Scheduled to premiere in 2020, the third season of the award-winning sci-fi epic departs from the original two, with a new story arc that looks to leave the confines of the titular theme park where guests intermingled – sometimes fatally – with humanoid "hosts" to venture into the real world.
Nolan, along with his wife and Westworld co-creator Lisa Joy, said in an earlier interview that audiences will be seeing a lot more of that “real world” in Season 3.
“Season 3 of Westworld is definitely going to be a big undertaking,” Nolan told The Wrap.
“The great thing about Season 3 is, when we were writing the pilot, the major story line for Season 3 was already something that we had talked about nonstop,” Joy added. “We’ve been waiting to get to this place and now that we’ve arrived here, we already have a very strong idea of exactly where we want to go and we can’t wait to go there.”
CNA Lifestyle reached out to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) – which has helped facilitate other Hollywood shoots here in Singapore, including Crazy Rich Asians and Hitman: Agent 47 – for confirmation on the Westworld production.
“Singapore is a unique blend of Asian and Western cultures, influenced by a vibrant mix of ethnicities and cultures. This offers content creators a rich kaleidoscope of locales to set their stories in,” replied the IMDA spokesperson. “We welcome content creators from around the world to participate in Singapore’s vibrant media ecosystem, draw inspiration from our city scape and create innovative content for global audiences.”
Based on the film of the same name written by Jurassic Park’s Michael Crichton, Westworld first debuted in 2016, and has amassed a devoted fan following for its plot twists, stunning visuals and philosophical dive into the idea of artificial intelligence.