Things are starting to move on JJ Abrams, Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy’s re-imagining of Michael Crichton’s classic novel – and Yul Brynner’s classic movie – Westworld
Nolan and his wife are currently writing the series, which will be produced at Bad Robot under JJ Abrams and Filmdivider have some interesting bits of info on the idea behind it and the cast they are hoping to get: “The story will still take place in a Western themed amusement park populated by robots and guests, but whereas Crichton’s film had guests played by James Brolin and Richard Benjamin as its lead characters, the TV version would focus more on the park’s robot attractions. But of course, they wouldn’t be aware that they’re robots.”
This is an interesting approach and one that hasn’t been done to great effect since Blade Runner; there is much possibility in the idea of a robot that doesn’t know what it is.
The casting is something that, if it happens, will impress a lot of TV fans too: Sir Anthony Hopkins has been offered the role of Dr. Ford, the man who runs this new version of Westworld… “The character is part Dr. Moreau, part Blade Runner’s Dr. Tyrell, and just a little bit like Jurassic Park’s John Hammond.”
“Dr. Ford is the uncompromising creator of the park and conductor of the creations inside it, and he views the robots as utterly inhuman, little more than livestock. In the wider context of the show, he’s looking like a complex kind of ‘big bad’.”
However, Dr. Ford is certainly not the show’s main character. A pair of robots from the park seem to be the two principle leads, and those roles have been offered to James Marsden and Evan Rachel Wood.
Evan Rachel Wood’s character would be Dolores Abernathy and Marsden would play Teddy Flood. Dolores is a girl-next-door type who has no idea she’s not real – it is believed that the series would eventually be about her and Marsden learning who they really are and the consequences of that.
Wood will be a typical Hollywood cowboy-type, all romance and adventure and Abernathy will be his gal, it seems. However, the twist is that: “There is an inherent tragedy to this romance. It sounds like Flood’s job is to be killed by the guests over and over again, and no matter how close he comes to winning Dolores’ heart, her programming means she’ll always end up with one of the guests instead.”
But what about the iconic role played by Yul Brynner? Well, in the script there is a villainous cowboy called Harlan Bell and he seems to be the answer to the classic figure. He will learn his identity and it will make him a sympathetic character apparently
There is also a wealthy guest going by the name of The Man In Black who seems to be a nasty piece of work too: “The Man in Black enjoys brutalising the robot hosts of the park and visits yearly to exorcise his demons in a truly sadistic manner.”
So, this is all speculation – especially the casting ideas – but it sounds like a different take on the story but I have to say, personally, I don’t feel it’s something I’d want to watch… but I’ve been wrong before.
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