‘Utopia’ is Coming

(Above: the UK’s ‘Utopia’)

Fans of British TV in the US have been waiting to see Utopia, an award-winning but controversial Channel 4 conspiracy thriller that lasted for 12 episodes over two seasons in 2013-2014.

Utopia is now coming to Amazon Prime, but not the British version. Instead, the series is being adapted for a worldwide audience by Gillian Flynn, who has previously turned her best-selling novels Gone Girl and Sharp Objects into, respectively, a major 2014 film and an upcoming HBO series.

Utopia was originally headed to HBO as well. Flynn was going to write, Gone Girl’s director David Fincher was going to direct, and Rooney Mara was going to star. But that deal collapsed a few years ago.

No word on the director, stars or anticipated air date for the new nine-episode Utopia, which like the original, will tell the story of “a group of young adults, who meet online [and] are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near mythical cult underground graphic novel….They discover the conspiracy theories in the comic’s pages may actually be real and are forced into the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.”

The original Utopia, written by Tony winner Dennis Kelly (Matilda), won an International Emmy Award for best drama, but was plagued in its first season by complaints about its violence — especially in an episode containing a school shooting that aired a month after the Sandy Hook massacre — and in its second season by a plot’s resemblance to a real-life politician’s murder. Channel 4 then cancelled the series.

Flynn, who is also the new Utopia’s creator, executive producer and showrunner, praised Kelly: “Dennis Kelly’s show blew my mind, and he has been so incredibly generous in letting me crack open his world and play around in it and make it my own weird, wild place.”

Want to blow your own mind? Here’s episode one of the British Utopia:


About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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