We Ask Westworld’s Creators If They Would Cast Daniel Wu In A Crossover With Their New Show, The Peripheral - 8days Skip to main content



We Ask Westworld’s Creators If They Would Cast Daniel Wu In A Crossover With Their New Show, The Peripheral

Lisa Joy, the co-executive producer of Amazon Prime Video’s The Peripheral, has worked with Daniel Wu on HBO’s Westworld and the 2021 film Reminiscence.
We Ask Westworld’s Creators If They Would Cast Daniel Wu In A Crossover With Their New Show, The Peripheral

While knee-deep in Season 4 of HBO’s AI-gone-awry saga Westworld, husband-and-wife showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy figured out what they’d do next. It would be another adaptation of a revered sci-fi property, this time by cyberpunk pioneer William Gibson — his 2014 novel, The Peripheral.

The book was brought to their attention by Vincenzo Natali, one of the Westworld helmers and a Gibson aficionado.

“We’re huge fans of William Gibson,” Joy tells 8days.sg in a Zoom interview from London. “I read the book that night — in one go. It was a very late night, and the next morning I was like, Let’s do this!

“Every project is about: Do you connect with the characters, their emotions, their journeys? And are you interested in their world? And for me, that was a strong ‘yes’ on both counts.”

A friendly face: Chloë Grace Moretz’s Flynne is shown around 2099 London by Wilf (Garry Carry), a fixer of Lev Zubov (JJ Feild), another party who wants the secrets Flynne has stored in her head.

Formidable foe: The Haunting of Bly Manor’s T’Nia Miller is dressed to kill as Cherise Nuland, the head of the Research Institute, who will go to any lengths to recover what was taken from her.

Set in 2032, the 10-part drama, created by Scott B Smith (The Ruins), stars Chloë Grace Moretz as Flynne Fisher, a “sim jockey” — an esports player hired by the wealthy to help them attain higher levels in virtual reality games — from North Carolina beta-testing a new game that transports her to dystopian London in 2099.

Problem is, her surrounding isn’t fake — the shit is real. And it gets better: Flynne has a multi-million-dollar bounty on her head from nefarious forces. The outcome: think The Terminator meets Ready Player One and then some. (FYI: The Peripheral is the cyborg avatar controlled, by a headset, from another location. Or in Flynne’s case, from another time. Trust me, there’s many jargons to keep up with.)

Like Westworld, The Peripheral addresses the dark side of technology, its corrupting potential, and how it does more harm than good to humanity.

Dynamic duo: Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan at The Peripheral red-carpet premiere and screening at Los Angeles’ The Theatre at Ace Hotel on Oct 11, 2022.

On the shows’ shared DNA, Natali, who directed two The Peripheral episodes, tells 8days.sg in a separate interview, “I was cognizant of Jonah and Lisa’s approach to science-fiction in television, in that they’re really obsessed with creating a tangible reality.”

“There’s a version of this story where everything is done against green-screen in a studio situation,” says Natali. “And the overarching approach that Jonah and Lisa have that I wholeheartedly agreed with is to shoot on location in real spaces as much as you can and bring as much of the reality into your [sci-fi] as possible, making it more tangible and real to the audience as you possibly can.”

Natali adds, “One of the things that’s unique about Westworld that is akin to The Peripheral is that there’s an interesting mixture of science-fiction in a rural environment.

“Often when we think of science-fiction, we think of urban, technological space. But, both of these shows show that nature and technology are not mutually exclusive and that’s a very fresh approach.”  

 That said, if you let your imagination run wild, it’s possible to picture the Westworld and The Peripheral narratives existing in the same universe. (As of now, HBO hasn't officially greenlit Season 5.)

When we pitched the mash-up, Joy says she would love to see Ed Harris’ vicious Man in Black face off against Charise Nuland, The Peripheral’s resident villain played by The Haunting of Bly Manor’s T’Nia Miller. “That would be a pretty delicious match-up,” Joy speculates.

And does Daniel Wu, who played resistance leader Jay in Season 4 of Westworld, have a place in this crossover? I venture.

“Oh, you know, I love Daniel Wu,” she laughs. “I just keep trying to work with him in everything. And if I did bring Daniel back, I would definitely make him a Peripheral because he’s so incredible at stunts that it, honestly, does feel like he’s a machine. He’s not human. So he could very easily channel all the cool moves that the peripherals make.”

The Peripheral is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video, with new episodes dropping every Friday.

Photos: Amazon Prime Video; TPG News/Click Photos Joy & Nolan: Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Prime Video,



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