In an interesting and exciting turn of events, it appears Michael Crichton’s 1973 film Westworld is being developed into a dramatic series over at HBO. The adaptation received a pilot production commitment with Christopher Nolan’s brother, Jonathan Nolan, set to direct and co-write with his wife Lisa Joy (Burn Notice). Jonathan will serve as executive producer along with JJ Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, and Bryan Burk. And according to Deadline, Athena Wickam will produce the series with Warner Bros TV, Bad Robot, Jerry Weintraub Prods., and Kilter Films.
The Deadline report claims HBO’s commitment to this series is among the network’s biggest ever, though figures haven’t been disclosed. There haven’t been any casting choices or production dates announced yet. Crichton’s 1973 film featured James Brolin, and Richard Benjamin, and starred Yul Brynner as a gun-slinging android that went berserk in a futuristic western themed amusement park. The new HBO series is being described as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.”
Nolan teamed up with Abrams and Bad Robot in 2011 for the CBS series Person of Interest, but Westworld will mark the first major cable sale for Abrams’ Bad Robot. Crichton’s film holds cult status among many in the sci-fi world. Warner Bros. has been reportedly looking to revive the property recently, exploring feature film options, but a high end cable outlet like HBO presents a new world of possibilities. The premium cable network earned a whopping 108 Emmy nominations this year. With critically acclaimed programming like Game of Thrones, and Behind the Candelabra, HBO should be a great home for an adult oriented science fiction thriller like Westworld.