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J.J. Abrams’ HBO ‘Westworld’ TV Series Casts Ed Harris, James Marsden

HBO Westworld Ed Harris James Marsden Man in Black
Warner Bros. / Valerie Macon-Larry Busacca, Getty Images

Despite seeming dormant for the better part of a year, HBO’s forthcoming J.J. Abrams-produced ‘Westworld‘ adaptation continues to fire up some major star power for its pilot. Not only has ‘X-Men‘ star James Marsden been confirmed for a role, but Ed Harris has landed his first regular TV gig as the major big bad of HBO’s ‘Westworld.’

Bad Robot’s ‘Westworld’ remakes the 1972 tale as “a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin.” ‘Person of Interest‘ creator and ‘The Dark Knight’ co-writer Jonathan Nolan wrote the script with ‘Burn Notice‘ scribe Lisa Joy, with Nolan directing the pilot. Nolan and Joy will executive produce with Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk.

Perhaps borrowing a page from ‘LOST,’ Harris’ leading role is said to be that of “The Man in Black — the distillation of pure villainy into one man.” Meanwhile, having earlier been rumored for the project along with Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood, Marsden will take the role of Teddy Flood, a mysterious arrival to the small frontier town who quickly proves both his charm — and his talent with a revolver. His pursuit of a local beauty launches him on the “dark odyssey” mentioned in the logline.

For those unfamiliar with the original 1972 Yul Brynner-James Brolin film, ‘Westworld’ told the story of a future resort wherein guests pay to live out time period fantasies brought to life by sophisticated human-like androids, before the robots began malfunctioning and killing the resort’s crew. The film spawned the sequel ‘Futureworld,’ and eventually the short-lived ’80s TV series ‘Beyond Westworld.’

Elsewhere, ‘Westworld’ also employs among its cast ‘The Hunger Games‘ and ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ star Jeffrey Wright, ‘Raising Hope’ lead Shannon Woodward, ‘300”s Rodrigo Santoro, Angela Sarafyan and Simon Quarterman. ‘Westworld’ also marks Bad Robot’s first major cable sale, and one of HBO’s largest pilot commitments in years.

You can rewatch the original trailer below, and tell us what you think of the ‘Westworld’ TV series’ new big bad in the comments!

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