Given its track record, anytime HBO even announces a new series is reason enough to get excited. But, as details emerge around its latest effort, Westworld, standard-issue excitement might not be enough. We might go into full-blown cardiac arrest.
Based on the little-seen 1973 film from Jurassic Park author Michael Crichton, this new series centers on the inner workings of an adult amusement park filled with lifelike robots. The series is being brought to life by J.J. Abrams and The Dark Knight writer Jonathan Nolan, who will co-write with his wife, Lisa Joy. Thanks to that impressive pedigree — and television's new reputation as showbiz's creative epicenter — Westworld has been attracting some top-tier talent.
In his first recurring television role, Sir Anthony Hopkins will topline the star-studded cast as the park's patriarch/inventor. His genetically gifted android babies will be made up of Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, and James Marsden, among others. Ed Harris, Miranda Otto, and Jeffrey Wright also appear.
Along with the cache that comes with HBO and anything Abrams- or Nolan-related, actors have reportedly been lured by the simple premise that as androids, they can be killed off and come back in the same season as a different character — think Battlestar Galactica's Cylons. It's the perfect solution to the fatigue some television actors face after playing the same role for multiple seasons of a series.
The pilot shoots this month in Los Angeles, and has yet to be picked up to series, so we're still a minute or two away from seeing Westworld on air. But, the last time HBO went this high-concept, Game of Thrones happened, so we're calling this one pretty much a done deal. (The Hollywood Reporter)