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J.J. Abrams’ HBO ‘Westworld’ TV Series Adds Jeffrey Wright, ‘Raising Hope’ Star and More

HBO Westworld Jeffrey Wright Shannon Woodward Rodrigo Santoro
Lionsgate / Warner Bros. / FOX

HBO’s Bad Robot-helmed ‘Westworld‘ remake series seemed all but shelved until casting finally moved forward with Anthony Hopkins and Evan Rachel Wood, and now the Abrams-Nolan collaboration has made some major additions to its fictional fantasy. In addition to ‘The Hunger Games‘ and ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ star Jeffrey Wright, HBO’s ‘Westworld’ has added ‘Raising Hope’ lead Shannon Woodward, a ‘300‘ star and more!

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 running amuck and killing the resort’s crew. The film spawned the sequel ‘Futureworld,’ and eventually the short-lived ’80s TV series ‘Beyond Westworld.’

Bad Robot’s ‘Westworld,’ meanwhile, will focus on “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.

In addition to Hopkins and Wood’s starring roles, here’s HBO’s breakdown of its latest cast additions:

Jeffrey Wright – Bernard Lowe: The brilliant and quixotic head of the park’s Programming Division, Bernard’s keen observation of human nature provides him with boundless inspiration for his life’s work: creating artificial people.

Rodrigo Santoro – Harlan Bell: Terrifying and brutal, with a dark sense of humor, Harlan is Westworld’s perennial “Most Wanted” bandit. He subscribes to the theory that the West is a wild place, and the only way to survive is to embrace the role of predator.

Shannon Woodward – Elsie King: A sardonic rising star in the Programming division, Elsie is charged with diagnosing the odd quirks of behaviors in the park’s hosts.

Ingrid Bolsø Berdal – Armistice: A savage fighter and brutal bandit, her ruthlessness with her victims is surpassed only by her abiding loyalty to her fellow outlaws.

Angela Sarafyan – Clementine Pennyfeather: One of Westworld’s most popular attractions, every aspect of Clementine is perfectly beguiling, by design.

Simon Quarterman – Lee Sizemore: The narrative director of Westworld, his inspired storylines consistently delight or terrify the guests — and his artistic temperament consistently grates on his colleagues.

‘Westworld’ also marks Bad Robot’s first major cable sale, and one of HBO’s largest pilot commitments in years. Watch the original trailer below, and tell us what you think of the ‘Westworld’ TV series’ latest additions!

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