Another Oscar winner is coming to HBO: Anthony Hopkins has been cast in the cable drama’s TV reboot of the sci-fi classic Westworld.
The casting will mark the first potential regular TV gig for the acclaimed Silence of the Lambs and Thor actor, and continues the trend of Academy Award winners taking small-screen roles. He will be joined in the project by actress Evan Rachel Wood (Once and Again, True Blood).
No, Hopkins is not playing “the Yul Brynner role.” But the descriptions for both his character and Wood’s shed some insight into the secretive project’s storyline.
The 1973 version of Westworld—from techno-thriller author Michael Crichton—was about a futuristic theme park populated with robot characters who malfunctioned and attacked the guests. (Later, Crichton would use a similar plot for his bestselling novel Jurassic Park.) In the HBO pilot, Hopkins will play Dr. Robert Ford, described as “the brilliant, taciturn and complicated Creative Director, Chief Programmer and Chairman of the Board of Westworld; Ford has an uncompromising creative vision for the park—and unorthodox methods of achieving it.” Wood plays Dolores Abernathy, “provincial, beautiful and kind. Dolores is the quintessential farm girl of the frontier West—who is about to discover that her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie.”
Wood’s character description suggests that she’s an android, and that Westworld’s robots will be similar to those in Blade Runner or the Battlestar Galactic reboot—convincingly humanoid and sometimes unaware of their own artificiality.
Right now, Westworld is just at the pilot-order stage. But with Hopkins on board and a high-powered team behind the camera (executive producers J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, Bryan Burk, and producer-director Jonathan Nolan), the project has strong odds for a full series pickup.