- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
This story first appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
Based on Michael Crichton‘s 1973 film and written by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the pilot stars Anthony Hopkins in his first series-regular role as an inventor who runs an adult amusement park populated by lifelike robots.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter these androids — played by castmembers including James Marsden, Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton — can be killed off and return with completely different personas, allowing actors to play many characters in the same season.
That creative device, one top talent agent says, is helping HBO attract a premier cast (which also includes Ed Harris, Miranda Otto and Jeffrey Wright). And unlike the actors on such anthology series as FX’s American Horror Story and HBO’s own True Detective, which reboot themselves every season, the cast of Westworld is signing multiyear deals.
“This is built as a series and, in terms of storytelling, I think the rules are definitely being broken,” says HBO programming president Michael Lombardo of the sci-fi Western from executive producers J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk. “The promise of the show, in terms of where it’s going, is exciting to actors, and they want to be a part of this.”
Westworld — a rare outside studio buy for HBO, from Warner Bros. Television — is filming its pilot in Los Angeles in August as it awaits word on a pickup, which, given its pedigree, is expected.
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day