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J.J. Abrams’ Westworld Series Shoots For Anthony Hopkins And Evan Rachel Wood

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anthony hopkins, evan rachel woodWe recently went back to the 1970s to pinpoint six movies that could probably do with a remake. Some people wondered why Michael Crichton’s western thriller Westworld wasn’t on that list, and it’s because HBO and J.J. Abrams’ are already working together on a series update. You can think of it as a reinterpretation of the material if that sort of thing makes you feel better about such projects. The Television Critics Association press tour has already delivered key info on how the story will be told, and now it appears Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, and James Marsden have all been offered roles in the pilot.

The news comes from Film Divider‘s sources, and nothing’s been confirmed yet, but we’re optimistic, since none of the reports have been denied either. Plus, Wood recently tweeted “Good news brewing…” That could mean anything from a Westworld role to a punny way of revealing she’s in a movie about coffee. Still, we’re moving forward as if this news is beyond grain-of-salt legit for now.

Hopkins’ role would be that of Dr. Ford, the “uncompromising creator of the park and conductor of the creations inside it.” He apparently thinks of his robotic inventions as just that, seeing them as nothing but programmable animals and attractions. He’s not quite a villain here, but he’s not everyone’s favorite hero either. And this is only a recurring role anyway, while the other two roles in question are for the leads.

Should they indeed take them, Wood and Marsden would play androids within the futuristic amusement park. Delores Abernathy (Wood) is a bot created as “the beautiful girl next door type who has no idea that the life she’s living is a lie.” Expect that realization to be a major part of the character’s arc. Meanwhile, Marsden would play a character named Teddy Flood, a wild-west adventurer with an eye on Delores. His “job is to be killed by the guests over and over again, and no matter how close he comes to winning Delores’ heart, her programming means she’ll always end up with one of the guests instead.” Because there’s nothing like robot murder and robot sex to make a human feel great about themselves.

james marsdenIf all of this is true, this is obviously a starkly different take on the source material. Apparently there’s a Man in Black character that will serve as the big robot-abusing bad guy, who runs into a mysterious robot who helps him uncover some kind of a secret behind the formation of Westworld.

Again, maybe this is all nonsense, and the script from Jonathan Nolan—whose co-writing career with brother Christopher Nolan has given us some of the best movies in the past 15 years—and his wife Lisa Joy may go in a completely different direction. But hopefully not, since I find each of these stories pretty interesting. Given it’s a Bad Robot production, we may never find out details about it, even as we watch it.

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