Mindful that sparing no expense is the key to any successful amusement park filled with genetically engineered creatures who can kill you, HBO has cast the lead role in its Westworld adaptation with Sir Anthony Hopkins. The network’s plan to move beyond Beyond Westworld and make the first successful TV replicant of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi classic was announced last year, with Jonathan Nolan writing and directing a pilot for, fittingly, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot. Now that pilot has an official green light, with Hopkins set to star alongside Evan Rachel Wood, and plenty of money already being thrown at creating Westworld’s fantastic environment—thus ensuring everything will go smoothly.
Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant, obstinate man behind the creation of the park where humans come to interact with machines, then occasionally put down their phones long enough to see a robot cowboy. Wood will play Dorothy Abernathy, “the quintessential farm girl of the frontier West,” who soon learns that her life is an elaborately artificial lie. (Her first clue may be that glam vampire Evan Rachel Wood is playing a “quintessential farm girl.”)
Deadline reports that James Marsden is in talks for the pilot as well—and with a glaring lack of menacing android gunslingers so far, there’s still a lot of curiosity about who will fill Yul Brynner’s role. (That is, unless “Dr. Robert Ford” is all just a set-up for Hopkins to deactivate a robot Jesse James, by cowardly removing a large battery from his back.) But no matter what, with Hopkins on board, nothing can possibly go wrong at Westworld.
Shortly after this announcement, Sir Anthony Hopkins had already killed seven crew members.