While we wait two years for Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic Park 4 to see the light of day– twenty-two years after extinct dinos were spectacularly realized in Steven Spielberg’s cutting-edge adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel– Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi thriller Westworld may be getting a modern upgrade of its own in the works. HBO has picked up the rights for this futuristic remake of Crichton’s directorial debut for the small screen, and if that’s not exciting enough, J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot will be producing and Dark Knight Trilogy scribe Jonathan Nolan is set to direct the pilot, as well co-write with Burn Notice scribe Lisa Joy.
Chronicling the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin, Westworld is actually the second series inspired by Crichton’s film, which starred Yul Brynner as an android cowboy in a futuristic vacationing spot where you can relive the Old West experience. Also starring James Brolin, Westworld was a sleeper hit during it’s day and had a significant influence on the world of genre film, inspiring such imposing characters as the T-800 in The Terminator and Michael Myers in Halloween. While the film was the first of its kind to use digital image processing and was received well by critics, the first series to be adapted from the film, Beyond Westworld, was so poorly received that it was cancelled after only three episodes aired. Don’t get skeptical now, however, as the talent of Abrams, Nolan and Joy, as well as the unrestricted nature that HBO allows its programs to thrive, will be enough to warrant excitement from this project.
It’s hard to tell what audiences will make of a sci-fi / western hybrid, but if Abrams and Nolan’s involvement are any sign, Westworld will surely get fervent TV watchers scheduling their DVRs. There is no word on who will fill Brynner’s iconic shoes, but you’ll be sure to hear soon as the project moves forward. For more on Westworld, J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan, be sure to check back here at DiaboliqueMagazine.com.
– By Jeremy Kibler