More than 3 decades ago, Michael Crichton wrote and directed “Westworld”, a movie about a futuristic Western-themed amusement park that is overtaken by killer cowboy robots. It was the first-ever feature film to use digital image processing for the purpose of pixellating photography and stimulating an android point of view.
The film received high praises from critics, with Variety describing it as an “excellent” film that “combines solid entertainment, chilling topicality, and superbly intelligent serio-comic story values”. It was further nominated for Hugo, Nebula, and Golden Scroll (a.k.a. Saturn) awards.
A sequel film and a short-lived TV series of “Westworld” were subsequently made, but Crichton was not involved in the former as he was intensely fatigued by the movie.
Fast forward to 2015, a TV series based on the movie of the same name is being developed by HBO. The new show is highly anticipated by fans and critics as it features a stellar cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Angela Sarafyan, and Simon Quarterman.
According to HBO, the one-hour drama takes a more modern turn on the original film as it is “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin”.
The first trailer of the upcoming HBO sci-fi series, which made its debut at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, is said to have opened with a simple question: “Have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?”
Anthony Hopkins’ character appears briefly in the footage, as well as Evan Rachel Wood’s character. “Lord of the Rings” actress Miranda Otto was originally slated to star in the show, but she left the project and her part was replaced by “Borgen” star Sidse Babbett Knudsen. According to /FILM, “Once Upon a Time” star Eion Bailey has also joined the cast to play Logan, “a self-indulgent ladies man who is a return visitor to Westworld”. His character is described as “well versed in inhaling all the pleasures that it has to offer”. “House Of Cards” star Jimmi Simpson will play Logan’s friend, William, a first-time park visitor. Clifton Collins Jr. (of “Pacific Rim” fame ) will play Lawrence, “a sly criminal who really knows his way around Westworld”.
While we await the new trailer, take a look at some “Westworld” stills featuring James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood, and Thandie Newton in the gallery below:
Jonathan Nolan, the brother of “Interstellar” director Christopher Nolan, co-created “Westworld” with Lisa Joy. He is directing it based on the screenplay written by himself and Joy. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams is executive producing it alongside Nolan, Joy, and Bryan Burk. The late Jerry Weintraub is also credited as executive producer.
Kathy Lingg serves as co-executive producer while Athena Wickham and Susie Ekins serve as producer and co-producer respectively. The series is produced by Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions, and Kilter Films in association with Warner Bros. Television.
“Westworld” will air in Asia on HBO same time as the US.