HBO’s reimagining of the 1973 Michael Crichton science fiction-western-thriller, Westworld, has added a few new cast members. The show, which is set in a western-themed amusement park populated by gun slinging androids that will (obviously) never break down and try to kill all the humans, stars Sir Anthony Hopkins and Even Rachel Wood (The Wrestler) and is Executive Produced by J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan (Person of Interest); Nolan also wrote the pilot and will direct some of the episodes.
Additionally, HBO has announced that James Marsden will play Teddy Flood, a new arrival to frontier town; Eddie Rouse (Pandorum) will play a Native American card dealer and smuggler; Angela Sarafyan will play Clementine, the most beguiling of attractions; Jeffrey Wright (Catching Fire) will play the parks’ head of programming; Rodrigo Sontoro (300) and Ingrid Bolso Berdal (Hercules) will play Westworld’s most-wanted bandits; and Shannon Woodward and Simon Quarterman will play the park’s programmer and narrative director, respectively.
In Westworld the film, the park was one of three, including a Roman World and Medieval World. They were all populated by life-like androids, all of which were capable of any adventure (murderous, debaucherous, gluttonous, etc.) that the park-goer fantasized. Gunslingers were everywhere in West World and visitors were issued weapons that were programmed to only kill androids, and androids were issued weapons that couldn’t kill people and obviously that all goes to pot pretty quickly.
Westworld the TV show is billed as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.” From this and the descriptions of the characters, there are clear indications that, in a departure from the film, the HBO series will center on the lives of the androids as much as the visitors, with Wood (who plays an archetypal farm girl), Rouse and Santoro in some sort of Truman Show-like scenario where they aren’t aware that their world is entirely constructed and that they are just automatons.
Meanwhile, Hopkins (the park’s chairman), Wright and the rest of operators will be in the background pulling the strings. This should provide ethos, characters, and storylines enough to carry the series along nicely and it should dig deeper into the mire that is A.I. and the nature of sentience than the original film did. Of course, this isn’t altogether unfamiliar territory for Nolan and Abrams, who created Person of Interest, which likewise deals with the sentience of artificial intelligence – and to great success.
Westworld doesn’t have a premiere date yet. Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more information.