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J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan teaming up for HBO 'Westworld' pilot

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HBO is working on a television version of Westworld to be masterminded by Jonathan Nolan and J.J. Abrams. Variety reports that the network has committed to producing a pilot for the series, with Nolan directing and co-writing with Lisa Joy. Nolan is the brother of director Christopher Nolan, and has co-written films like The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and also serves as executive producer of the CBS series Person of Interest. Along with Joy and Nolan, the new Westworld project will be executive produced by Abrams, Jerry Weintraub, and Bryan Burk (Lost).

The 1973 film Westworld was written and directed by author Michael Crichton, and starred Yul Brynner as a renegade android in a futuristic theme park. The exact plot of the new version isn't clear, but it seems like it will be a more thoughtful, nuanced take on the subject matter, with Variety describing it as "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin." As is the norm for these kind of deals, a pilot doesn't mean a show is given, but the deal is described as being quite large for HBO — a sure sign that the network would like to bring the series to air as it faces an increasingly competitive creative landscape.