HBO has come away with a huge commitment with J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot that will bring a new drama, inspired by Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi movie Westworld, to the cable network. This will be Bad Robot’s first project taken to a big wig like HBO, having only dealt with broadcast networks in the past. Westworld comes from Person of Interest creator Jonathon Nolan, producer Jerry Weintraub, and Warner Bros. TV. HBO has given the project a pilot commitment, but I don’t see how they wouldn’t order it to series with names like Nolan and Abrams attached to it.
According to Deadline, Nolan and Burn Notice’s Lisa Joy wrote Westworld, a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin. Nolan will direct the pilot. This will be the second series inspired by the original Westworld, which starred Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, and James Brolin. The first series was the short-lived Beyond Westworld in 1980, which was a continuation of the movie and its sequel, Futureworld. Let’s hope that with the advantages of cable, this new Westworld will be able to find a longer life. It’s certainly in the right hands to make something big out this, but even Abrams has been known to produce a stinker once in a while.
Nolan has shown he has a love for technology and bringing to life sciences that are just outside the boundary of possible. He wrote Inception, directed by his brother Christopher Nolan, which was a terrific look into the idea of shared dreams. Person of Interest took the Big Brother concept – that we are always being watched – and turned it into a way to prevent violent crimes from happening. With these projects under his belt, I can’t help but wonder what Nolan has planned for Westworld. Will he make the technology just believable enough, or will this be his first full step into the strange realm of science fiction?