The next time we have a vacation, maybe Westworld will actually exist.

–Lisa Joy, on how long it takes to make a season of Westworld.[1]

Lisa Joy is the co-creator, executive producer and writer for the HBO series, Westworld. Joy and spouse Jonathan Nolan are the showrunners for the series.

Joy was born in New Jersey and began a writing career on the ABC show Pushing Daisies. In 2011, they joined the staff of Burn Notice as a co-producer.

Their script, Reminiscence, was on the Black List in 2013, and was bought by Legendary Pictures in the same year. Development on that project is quiet but appears to be continuing.[2]

Joy is the writer on Untitled Female Superhero Spider-Man Movie.[3]


Joy's husband, Jonathan Nolan, wasn't initially very inspired by J. J. Abrams suggestion of a new look at the classic 1973 film by Michael Crichton. Nolan had watched, and liked the film but didn't really understand what the new version would be about. "I couldn’t quite wrap my head around what it would be." Abram's idea seems to have struck Joy immediately though.[4]

Joy: When I heard, ‘Western robot theme park. Do it as a TV show. Think about the lives of the robots’"

Nolan: Which was J. J.’s suggestion

Joy:"It suddenly just, once that thought had been triggered, I just wanted to play with it.

–Joy and Nolan, in a New Yorker interview with Tom Bissell

I would sometimes look at the side characters in those movies, hanging out by the saloon doors, or crossing the street, or working on a railroad, and think, Well, actually, that’s kind of more like who I would have been in the Old West. I wonder what their story is. To do it together in this show allowed us to explore all those stories. . . . That was irresistible to me.

–Joy, on Westerns in general

Episodes Written

Episodes Directed

Season Two


  • Graduated from Harvard Law School.
  • Is of British and Taiwanese descent and speaks Chinese fluently.
  • They have a daughter born in 2013/early 2014[5] and are expecting their second child.[6]


  1. The next time we have a vacation, maybe Westworld will actually exist.