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Archive for the ‘Westworld’ Category

HBO Temporarily Shuts Down Production On ‘Westworld,’ But Still Hoping For 2016 Debut

Is there trouble on the horizon for HBO‘s star-studded, TV series take on Michael Crichton‘s “Westworld“? The talent is immense, with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy running the sci-fi show which stars Ed Harris, James Marsden, Evan Rachel WoodThandie Newton, Anthony Hopkins, and Jeffrey Wright, but it seems there needs to be some retooling before this one is ready for air.

Variety reports that HBO has shut down the show, explaining that a break is needed in order to get the creative elements back on track. “As we head into the final phase of production on ‘Westworld,’ we’ve made the decision to take a brief hiatus in order to get ahead of the writing,” the network said in a statement, while clarifying to the trade that they still aim for the show to premiere this year.

It’s another high profile effort from HBO to face problems. Last summer, the miniseries “Lewis And Clark” starring Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts was also shut down, with director John Curran (“The Painted Veil,” “Stone,” “Tracks“) and DP Rob Hardy (“Ex Machina,” “Tracks,” “Testament Of Youth“) exiting over “creative reasons.” And according to Affleck, the entire effort is being revamped from the ground up.

“The update is they are rewriting it, trying to make the scripts and the production a little bit more manageable,” he told Collider. “It was too unwieldy, they were trying to do so much, cover so many years, and it’s such a gigantic journey that it was almost impossible. It was a gigantic production that got lost control of and the seasons got ahead of them, and then they were finished. So now they’re sort of regrouping and aiming to just kind of start over again knowing what they know. It’ll be hard.”

So, two big hurdles for HBO to overcome in 2016. We’ll see if they can do it.

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HBO Greenlights J.J. Abrams’ ‘Westworld’ for Full Series

HBO has given an official series order to J.J. Abrams’ new sci-fi series “Westworld, ” according to Deadline. The show is based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film, and it was adapted for the small screen by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.

The series has an incredible cast that includes Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Miranda Otto and Jeffrey Wright.

The story is set at an amusement park called, you guessed it, “Westworld,” and it’s described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.”

Harris will play one of the central leads in the story known as The Man in Black, “the distillation of pure villainy into one man.” Marsden is will play a character named Teddy Flood, “a mysterious new arrival to a small frontier town. Teddy quickly proves both his charm, and his talent with a revolver, while his pursuit of a local beauty launches him on a dark odyssey.” Eddie Rouse has also joined the production and will play Kissy, “a laconic, American-Indian who deals cards and contraband from the town saloon.”

The 1973 movie starring Yul Brenner, James Brolin and Richard Benjamin is a bona fide classic; essential viewing if you haven’t seen it already. Abrams certainly has the golden touch as of late, and with a fantastic cast and proven premise as his disposal, I think he’s going to have another big winner on his hands here.

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James Marsden Heads to Westworld

Rumored for a role since last month, James Marsden has, according to The Hollywood Reporter, officially signed on to join the cast of HBO and Bad Robot’s upcoming “Westworld” opposite Sir Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Angela Sarafyan, Eddie Rouse, Kyle Bornheimer and Simon Quarterman.

The original 1973 film, both written and directed by Michael Crichton, takes place in a future amusement park wherein visitors interact with androids in recreations of famous historical environments. When something goes wrong, however, the androids turn deadly.

Westworld received a sequel, Futureworld, in 1976 and was spun off into a short-lived series, “Beyond Westworld,” in 1980.

Marsden, who starred earlier this year in Walk of Shame, will play a character named Teddy Flood, described as being “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.”

HBO has already given the planned series a pilot commitment with Jonah Nolan directing the pilot and writing alongside his wife (and “Burn Notice” scribe) Lisa Joy.

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