James Marsden laments the cancellation of 'Westworld': 'I just wish it was about more than financial success'

Count James Marsden as one of those upset that Westworld has been relegated to TV history.

HBO canceled the Emmy-winning, dystopian series in November amid falling ratings.

"I'd be lying to you if I told you that the way we ended Westworld wasn't a disappointment," Marsden, who played Teddy in the series in its first two seasons and again in its fourth, told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Tuesday. "I'm never going to speak without gratitude about any of my experiences, but it would have been nice to be able to complete the story we wanted to finish. I love this Westworld family. It was one of those unique opportunities to be part of something where I also would be sitting at home ravenously waiting for the next episode as a fan."

The network's decision to take the beautifully and expensively filmed series off the air — it was even removed from HBO Max — followed a steep decline in ratings. THR estimated that the show dropped from 12 million viewers in its first season to 4 million in its fourth. Meanwhile, the price of production was about $100 million just for the first season; even executive producer J.J. Abrams said before the premiere that "the production value of this thing is preposterous."

Marsden, whose co-stars included Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Anthony Hopkins, Jeffrey Wright, Tessa Thompson, Ed Harris and Aaron Paul, wishes that it wasn't all about the bottom line. Creators had envisioned five seasons.

"I totally understand it's an expensive show, and big shows have to have big audiences to merit the expense," he said. "I just wish it was about more than financial success. But who knows — maybe there's some world where it can get completed somehow. Maybe that’s just wishful thinking because I know we had plans to finish it the way we wanted to."

Sounds like Marsden would be down for a reunion or even a sequel series. In November, he reprised another of his memorable roles, that of Edward in Enchanted in the sequel, Disenchanted, which was released 15 years after its predecessor.

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