HBO Buys 'Westworld' in Mammoth Sale for Bad Robot
HBO has commited to a new pilot project from J.J. Abrams in one of the largest buys in the network's history. 'Westworld' is the expensive project in question, adapted from the 1973 feature film of same name written and directed by famed novelist Michael Crichton. J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot will produce in conjunction with 'Person of Interest' creator Johnathan Nolan and Jerry Weintraub ('Ocean's Eleven').
'Westworld' marks the first sale for Bad Robot to a cable network (let alone a subscription network), as Robot's previous sales have been network series like 'Fringe,' 'Revolution,' and the upcoming 'Believe.' Written by Nolan and Lisa Joy ('Burn Notice'), 'Westworld' is described as a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin. Given the technological advances since the feature film of 1973 (some of which would arguably have been incomprehensible a mere forty years ago), this new take on the old question of the consequences of artificial intelligence seems ripe for the current TV environment.
In 1973, 'Westworld' starred Yul Brynner as an android in a futuristic amusement park designed to resemble the mythic old West. The film also starred Richard Benjamin and James Brolin as guests of the amusement park.
Johnathan Nolan is set to direct the pilot himself. The 1973 feature also spawned a feature sequel entitled 'Futureworld' and a contunuation television series, 'Beyond Westworld,' in 1980. Check out the trailer for the original film below.