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HBO Buys 'Westworld' Adaptation From J.J. Abrams

The premium cable network has made a pilot production commitment for a drama adaptation of the 1973 Michael Crichton sci-fi movie of the same name.

REP SHEET J.J. Abrams
J.J. Abrams

HBO is making a foray into the J.J. Abrams business.

In another example of the premium cable network buying a project from an outside studio, HBO has made a pilot production commitment for a Westworld adaptation from Warner Bros. TV. The drama effort, inspired by Michael Crichton's 1973 film of the same name, is being billed as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.

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Abrams will executive produce alongside veteran producer Jerry Weintraub and Bad Robot's Bryan Burk, with Person of Interest's Jonathan Nolan attached to co-write, EP and direct the pilot. Lisa Joy will join him as a co-writer and EP, while Kathy Lingg and Athena Wickham are on board as a co-executive producer and a producer, respectively. The drama is being produced by Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions and Kilter Films in association with Warner Bros.

The move marks the first HBO project for Bad Robot, the prolific TV and film shingle behind such series as NBC's Revolution, CBS' Person of Interest and newcomers Almost Human (Fox) and Believe (NBC). For the network, which has a history of owning the bulk of its series, it follows recent outside orders for Fox 21's Open from Ryan Murphy and Warner Bros. TV's The Leftovers from Damon Lindelof.

E-mail: Lacey.Rose@THR.com
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: @LaceyVRose