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Westworld Wants To Exploit Your Anxieties About Artificial Intelligence, Here’s How

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WestworldThere’s a tidal wave of potentially incredible science fiction coming to our TVs over the next year or so, and one that we’re super excited for around these parts is HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Michael Crichton’s Westworld. It has a fantastic cast, the resources to pull off an ambitious project like this, and a strong creative team working behind the scenes. As it moves along, we’re seeing more and more pieces in the light of day, and learning more about what to expect.

Entertainment Weekly just revealed this grim new still of Ed Harris’ villainous Man in Black, a role originally played by Yul Brynner in 1973. They also sat down to chat with the husband and wife producers and writers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy discuss their project.

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Your First Westworld Footage Arrives In This HBO Year-End Video

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Earlier today we saw our first still photo from HBO’s upcoming adaptation of Westworld, and while that’s all well and good—it does feature a scuffed up looking western robot brandishing a classic style rifle, which is pretty cool—it’s only so exciting. (Some of the details that arrived with the picture were quite promising though.) But then, like magic, we stumbled across this video from the premium cable channel, and low and behold, there are a few snippets of actual footage from the sci-fi western, the first we’ve seen.

This video is a compilation of footage that offers a quick rundown of HBO’s year in 2014. As you can imagine, it is full of clips from continuing shows like Game of Thrones, new additions like The Leftovers, and departing favorites like Boardwalk Empire, among the various other things they show. There’s a decent amount of Manny Pacquiao for the boxing fans among us, concerts, and other random viewing options.

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Jonathan Nolan Promises HBO’s Westworld Will Keep You Up At Night

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WestworldIf you’ve always dreamed about going to a rough and tumble, grown up version of Disneyland where you can live out all of your movie western frontier daydreams, HBO’s upcoming Westworld is right up your alley. A remake of Michael Crichton’s 1973 film, the series imagines a theme park where you can go and play cowboy, even shooting high tech androids and bedding futuristic sexbots. Momentum has been building for a while, and now we’ve got our first photo from the show, as well as some additional details.

HBO isn’t afraid to go big on a project, and Westworld is definitely ambitious as hell. It’s also attracted a ton of high profile industry folks. Jonathan Nolan (The Dark Knight, Interstellar) created, wrote, and will direct the pilot, J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) will produce, as will Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk. Even the cast is full of big names. Anthony Hopkins plays the visionary creator of the park, while Ed Harris takes the villainous Man in Black role originally made famous by Yul Brynner. James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood play a pair of star-crossed robot lovers, and Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Miranda Otto, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Angela Sarafyan, and Simon Quarterman round out the rest of the call sheet.

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HBO Just Picked Up Westworld, Here’s What We Know So Far

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WestworldWhen you hear that a classic film or TV show is being reworked, your initial reaction is usually a groan, or at least a half-hearted, “Why?” We’re often in same boat, skepticism wise (we could get into the “Why can’t Hollywood just make a new movie” debate, but that’s been done to death and is just a fact of the world we live in), but one that we’re actually pretty jazzed about is the upcoming Westworld revamp, which just got picked up by HBO.

For all of the fantastic programs the premium cable channel has on its dockets, they’ve never really done much in the way of science fiction. And given their track record of late, what with shows like Game of Thrones and True Detective, this is an enticing proposition. Yesterday, the network released this photo, as well as a series of twitchy videos via Vine and Twitter.

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Interstellar’s Jonathan Nolan Is Bringing This Classic Isaac Asimov Series To HBO

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FoundationThere have been rumblings about adaptations of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation for years now, but no one has quite gotten there. Last we heard, Roland Emmerich planned to develop it as a television series, and while the TV part of that still appears to be true, the players involved have changed. It is now being reported that Jonathan Nolan, screenwriter of Interstellar and frequent collaborator with his brother Christopher, is working to write and produce a series based on the books for HBO and Warner Bros. TV.

Given the scope, scale, and expansiveness of the narrative—which takes place over thousands of years, and tells the slow-burn story of how humanity falls into a barbaric state after the collapse of Galactic Empire—a movie would have never had done this justice. HBO has certainly shown that they’re not afraid to tell a sprawling, intricate story that’s a gradual build (just look at Game of Thrones), so this might be a perfect match.

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HBO’s Westworld Adds Ed Harris As The Villainous Man In Black

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Ed HarrisYesterday we wrote about X-Men’s James Marsden joining the cast of HBO’s upcoming reboot of Michael Crichton’s Westworld as the hero. And what use is a hero without a villain to go up against from time to time? Well now they’ve lined up one of those, too, and they found themselves a good one: Ed Harris.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Snowpiercer and Apollo 13 star will play a character called The Man in Black. This sounds like an updated version of Yul Brynner’s robotic gunslinger character from the 1973 original (which was written and directed by Crichton). He is described as “the distillation of pure villainy into one man.”