Following the news that J.J. Abrams’ rather appropriately named Bad Robot would be moving ahead with a TV adaptation of Westworld, we now have official confirmation of the wider cast that will be joining lead stars Sir Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood in the troubled tourist attraction. The iconic movie that was released in 1973 was written and directed by Michael Crichton, and centred on a western-themed amusement park operated by humanoid robots that malfunction. This TV adaptation will present an alternative take on that premise, and with the cast list lengthening, the production is now gathering momentum.
Jeffrey Wright (Boardwalk Empire) will star as Bernard Lowe – Head of the theme park’s Programming Division. Alongside that character will be Shannon Woodward (Raising Hope), playing Elsie King – a talented member of the Programming Division who is headed for great things, and works to identify problematic behaviours among the park’s hosts. Simon Quarterman (The Devil Inside) will play Lee Sizemore – the narrative director of the theme park who is charged with creating storylines to entertain and thrill the human guests.
Joining the cast of robot characters will be Rodrigo Santoro (Dominion) in the role of Harlan Bell – Westworld’s “most wanted” outlaw. Ingrid Bolso Berdal (Hercules) will feature as Armistice – an intimidating fighter with a reputation for being cold-hearted with her opponents, but fiercely loyal to her cohorts. Angela Sarafyan (The Good Guys) will portray Clementine Pennyfeather – an enigmatic and popular attraction.
The pilot has Jonathan Nolan (co-writer on The Dark Knight) attached to direct. He wrote the script along with Lisa Joy, who was recently hired by Sony to work on a script for a female-centred superhero movie set within the Spider-Man universe. Also receiving a writing credit on the Westworld pilot is Billy Ray – screenwriter of Captain Phillips. Along with executive producers J.J. Abrams, Bryan Burk and Jerry Weintraub, the creative team have developed a vision of this well-known story that switches the focus from the humans to the point of view of the robots, immediately deepening the dark and harrowing nature of the set-up.
Despite its status as a ‘remake,’ this TV adaptation of Westworld is quickly proving to be a very exciting prospect – hopefully promising an alternative in the schedules amidst apocalyptic dramas, invasions and zombies.
We will be keeping an eager eye on this production as it develops further.