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The Vacation of the Future, Today: HBO Orders Pilot For WESTWORLD Series

westworldposterA TV series version of Westworld, the Western-theme-park-robot-gone-bad Yul Brynner/James Brolin/Richard Benjamin-starring, Michael Crichton-written classic? You up for that?

What if J.J. Abrams was involved? And Jonathan Nolan, bro of Christopher and showrunner of Person of Interest? And HBO?

Yup, HBO, according to Variety, has given Bad Robot and Warner Bros. Television the green light to produce a pilot for a TV version of the 1973 movie, with Nolan co-writing and directing the pilot. Apparently, Jerry Weintraub’s been shopping a feature remake for years, including one attempt with Arnold Schwarzenegger, but only now is it moving forward. (Yes, I remember that there was another TV series based on Westworld, but Beyond Westworld doesn’t really count — it was barely on (five episodes, only three aired) and that was 33 years ago. And let’s skip Futureworld, if it’s all the same to you.)

And, huh, interesting. As someone who remembers the original fondly from his youth (old!), that movie creeped me out (in a good way), and instilled in me a healthy suspicion of all theme parks. I’d normally be suspicious of a remake, too, especially since Yul Brynner was so memorable as the rogue gunslinging robot, but it’s HBO, and I’ll trust that Abrams and Nolan will do right, even if we can’t avoid making lens flare references in the interim.

Do you remember the original? (If not, go watch it!) Are you interested in the TV remake? Comments, please.


Image: MGM Studios


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  1. biff0r says:

    Mads Mikkelsen as the Gunslinger. Yeah, he can do that and Hannibal too, right?

  2. RG says:

    CJ: Sounds like you should just watch the original…

  3. CJ says:

    Not only do I remember seeing 1973’s WESTWORLD in a Drive-In Theatre, I remember how good a movie it was with just practical special effects (Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin and James Brolin were all great in this movie) and the hype over Micheal Crichton directing his adaption!

    An MGM box office hit (we all know why its owned by Warner Bros today so there’s no need to retread that story), I was shocked it took 3 years to make a sequel – FUTUREWORLD – and that was a lower budget American International Pictures (Samuel Z. Arkoff ) release!

    How do I feel about a remake? I’m willing to accept it IF –

    _no unnecessary CGI (use practical special effects)

    _an homage to Yul Brynner (cast Billy Zane in the role)

    _cameos by James Brolin and Richard Benjamin (as evil technicians)

    _retain as much as possible the original soundtrack by Fred Karlin

    _keep the story smart (don’t dumb it down with action scenes)

    _name the Tech Company Crichton (after Mike)