4:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg, Philiana Ng
James Marsden to Star in HBO's 'Westworld'
James Marsden is heading to HBO.
The X-Men star has landed a lead role in the dark drama pilot Westworld, inspired by Michael Crichton's 1973 film, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The project is billed as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.
Marsden will play Teddy Flood, a mysterious new arrival to a small frontier town. He quickly proves both his charm — and his talent with a revolver. His pursuit of a local beauty launches him on a dark odyssey. Marsden recently starred in Anchorman 2, Lee Daniels' The Butler and 2 Guns, appeared on 30 Rock and Modern Family and next toplines the Nicholas Sparks big-screen adaptation Best of Me, D-Train and Business Trip. Marsden is repped by WME and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
Eddie Rouse (Pandorum, American Gangster) has also joined as "Kissy," short for Kisecawchuck, the laconic American-Indian card — and contraband — dealer from the town saloon, making him an expert in games both on and off the card table.
Other new additions include Demetrius Grosse (Justified), Kyle Bornheimer (She's Out of My League, Bachelorette), Currie Graham (Murder in the First), Lena Georgas (Ray Donovan), Steven Ogg (Grand Theft Auto V) and Timothy Lee DePriest.
J.J. Abrams will executive produce alongside veteran producer Jerry Weintraub and Bad Robot's Bryan Burk. Person of Interest's Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote the pilot, will executive produce and direct as well. Lisa Joy co-wrote the pilot and will exec produce. Kathy Lingg will co-executive produce and Athena Wickham is a producer on the Warner Bros. Television drama. David Coatsworth is set as a co-executive producer and line producer, with Susie Ekins set as a co-producer.
Westworld hails from Abrams' Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions and Kilter Films.