JJ Abrams to produce HBO’s ‘Westworld’ remake

Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood to star in TV show based on the 1973 sci-fi film

JJ Abrams will produce HBO’s small screen reworking of the 70s sci-fi classic Westworld. Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood are set to star in the latest project from the TV network behind True Detective and The Sopranos.

The 1973 film from writer/director Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park) imagined a near future where holiday makers could visit a themed world and interact with artificially intelligent cowboys in bar room brawls and shoot outs while satisfying their sexual desires with seductive robots.

Remembered for its groundbreaking special effects Yul Brynner played a lethal mechanised gunslinger who turns on the guests when a robot malfunction spreads like a virus through the resort leaving the holiday makers as their prey.

According to Deadline the show will be a “dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin” featuring Hopkins as the theme park’s “complicated creative director” and Wood as the android farm girl who discovers “her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie.”

James Marsden (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues) is also in talks about a role in the HBO pilot for Westworld which, if it’s picked up, will go some way to replacing the outgoing Boardwalk Empire and True Blood on the cable giant’s roster that also includes Game of Thrones.

A sequel to the original film, Futureworld was released in 1976 and starred Peter Fonda. This was followed by the short-lived TV series Beyond Westworld which ran in 1980.