HBO has been putting together a solid cast for its high-profile redo of a 1973 sci-fi feature film. The Hollywood Reporter's Live Feed reports that Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and former "True Blood" queen Evan Rachel Wood are among the latest additions to the lineup.
The original feature film, the first theatrical feature directed by Michael Crichton, starred Yul Brynner as an android gunslinger who terrorizes guests at a Western theme park. The new HBO project, with a production team that includes J.J. Abrams, Jonathan Nolan and Jerry Weintraub, has a formal pilot order and is reportedly set to start filming this summer.
"Hopkins is set to play Dr. Robert Ford, the brilliant, taciturn and complicated creative director, chief programmer and chairman of the board of Westworld, who has an uncompromising creative vision for the park — and unorthodox methods of achieving it," THR reports. "Wood will portray Dolores Abernathy, the quintessential farm girl of the frontier West — who is about to discover that her entire idyllic existence is an elaborately constructed lie."
Hopkins is an Oscar winner for the 1991 thriller "The Silence of the Lambs." If the HBO project goes to series, it would mark his first role as a series regular.
The project is a return to HBO for Wood, who earned an Emmy nomination for her supporting role in the HBO miniseries "Mildred Pierce." She is also known for playing Queen Sophie-Anne on "True Blood" and for her work on the TV series "American Gothic" and "Once and Again."
"The drama, which received a pilot production commitment last August, serves as the latest example of a premium cable network picking up a project from an outside studio," THR notes. "'Westworld' marks HBO's second series from Warner Bros. Television, joining Damon Lindelof's adaptation of Tom Perrotta's best-seller 'The Leftovers.' The cabler also has Ryan Murphy's sexuality drama pilot 'Open,' from 20th Century Fox Television, in contention."
The report notes that Hopkins' move to television is part of a trend among big-screen stars, with Billy Bob Thornton (FX's "Fargo), Halle Berry (CBS's "Extant") and Matthew McConaughey (HBO's "True Detective") among the others who have recently made the move.