Today in perfect casting: Ed Harris is set to play the "distillation of pure villainy" in HBO's "Westworld."

The three-time Academy Award nominee has joined producer J.J. Abrams' upcoming sci-fi series as the ominously-monikered Man in Black, joining previously-cast stars including Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Jeffrey Wright, Rodrigo Santoro, Shannon Woodward, James Marsden and Kyle Bornheimer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Jonathan Nolan ("Person of Interest") is set to executive produce and direct the pilot from a script he co-wrote with fellow executive producer Lisa Joy ("Burn Notice").

Described as "a dark odyssey about the dawn of artificial consciousness and the future of sin," the series was inspired by "Jurassic Park" novelist Michael Crichton's 1973 sci-fi film of the same name. Crichton wrote and directed the film, which centered on a group of vacationers struggling to survive a deadly robot malfunction at a futuristic Western-themed adult amusement park.

Harris's previous collaborations with HBO include playing John McCain in the acclaimed 2012 political telepic "Game Change" and the two-part 2005 miniseries "Empire Falls."

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