HBO’s ‘Westworld’ Casts Anthony Hopkins & Evan Rachel Wood; Marsden in Talks

Published 9 months ago by

HBOs Westworld Cast Anthony Hopkins HBOs Westworld Casts Anthony Hopkins & Evan Rachel Wood; Marsden in Talks

HBO continues to try to build its base of prestige-magnet original programming, with the latest project of interest being Westworld, a TV reboot of the 1973 sci-fi movie starring Yul Brynner, which was written and directed by the late Michael Crichton.

For those unfamiliar, the story involves a futuristic adult-themed amusement park in which people can live out fantasies using robot actors – robots who eventually become sentient and run amok, causing havoc. Fans who don’t remember the original Westworld probably remember The Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchy Land” (S6E4), which was based on the film

HBO’s development of a Westworld TV series was first announced about a year ago; the headline being that Jonathan Nolan and his wife Lisa Joy are co-writing it, while J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot was producing alongside Jerry Weintraub (Behind the Candelabra). Today, casting news for Westworld is being announced – and it’s not looking too shabby.

HBO Westworld Cast Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood HBOs Westworld Casts Anthony Hopkins & Evan Rachel Wood; Marsden in Talks

Hopkins & Wood

Deadline reports that Sir Anthony Hopkins (Thor) and Evan Rachel Wood (True Blood) have been cast in HBO’s Westworld, with X-Men star James Marsden supposedly in talks, as well. Here are the reported character details for Hopkins and Wood:

Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant, taciturn and complicated creative director, chief programmer and chairman of the board of Westworld who has an uncompromising creative vision for the park — and unorthodox methods of achieving it. Wood plays the provincial, beautiful and kind Dolores Abernathy, the quintessential farm girl of the frontier West — who is about to discover that her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie.

Clearly, by stretching things into a TV series the HBO version of Westworld will have a more elaborate and slowly developed build to the horrific finale, which raises a lot of interesting questions about these characters and their development. This marks Hopkins’ first TV role, but that’s no longer really a headline; more and more big stars (from Halle Berry to Matthew McConaughey) are looking to TV as the new frontier for actual challenging and meaty roles.

westworld robot yul brynner HBOs Westworld Casts Anthony Hopkins & Evan Rachel Wood; Marsden in Talks

Yul Brynner in ‘Westworld’ (1973)

So far, how Westworld will connect with viewers remains unknown, but HBO’s latest series, The Leftovers is also based on a pre-existing property (a novel), and so far, it seems to be connecting with a fair number of people. Could be the network has a similar angle for Westworld, and with names like Nolan and Abrams attached, fan interest is almost guaranteed.

The Westworld pilot is currently in production; we’ll keep you updated about a the air date/time and other casting and story news as they come to light.

Source: Deadline

Follow Kofi Outlaw on Twitter @ppnkof
TAGS: Westworld
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  1. The trailer of the movie could just as well have been the trailer for the HBO series. It looks amazing. With Christian Bale in one of the leading roles (or so it seems, doesn’t it?)
    It’s Jurassic Park With Robots… Terminator Park. HBO’s going to make this one hell of a frightening ride, I’m sure. Not so sure about the choice to have Bad Robot produce it, though. Bad Robot is like the Spielberg for network television, whereas HBO is more like the Kubrick of cable.

    • R.M. Posts…
      Bad Robot is like the Spielberg for network television, whereas HBO is more like the Kubrick of cable
      That is a really interesting way of looking at it. Probably why jamming Spielberg and Kubrick in one film (A.I. Artificial Intelligence), didn’t work.

      But I do have to ‘sort of’ disagree about Bad Robot perhaps not being a good choice.
      I like Abrams quite a bit, and his production company has produced a lot of shows that I’ve loved over the years.
      I suspect that with the freedom for creativity that HBO allows, this will be considerably
      darker than what you might expect on the networks (I’ve always thought that the unappreciated ‘Revolution’, would have thrived on premium cable…and that was a Bad Robot production).

      • Yeah, Revolution would have been so much better if it didn’t have the cheesy stuff that you expect from major US networks (which is weird, you’d think they’ve learned by now with the popularity of cable shows that audiences want more risk-taking in their shows).

    • Christian Bale wasn’t born when that movie came out. It’s his American dad.

  2. I hope that they maintain the early 1970s look, from the computers to the clothing that the vacationers wear upon their arrival to the facility.

  3. I’m wetting my pants for Westworld and cannot wait to see this new show. There’s a huge built in fan base of people of my generation for this story, so it promises to do well. I’ve been following the production for a couple years now, and I thought they were producing only a movie, and not a tv series. So now all I need is a Comcast subscription, and I can start watching all the robot-killing fun.

  4. Very excited about this. Way more than if it was just another movie reboot.

  5. HBO has been on a roll. I’m really pumped for this series.

  6. If this is on HBO, then I suspect it will have lots of unnecessary sex and nudity to grab viewers.

    • Maybe it’s just the fact that I grew up watching shows that featured sex and nudity on major British networks but I disagree wholeheartedly with your assessment.