The long-awaited US remake of Channel 4’s Utopia is heading to Amazon.
Dennis Kelly’s series of the same name was one of the most distinctive TV shows of the last decade, running for two seasons before it was prematurely cancelled in 2014. Around the same time, though, a US remake was in the pipeline, with David Fincher and Rooney Mara attached and HBO on board. Now, several years after that project failed to advance, the remake is back on, with Amazon signing a straight-to-series order with writer Gillian Flynn.
The best-selling author of Gone Girl has inked an overall deal with Amazon Studios across television, with Utopia the first project at the top of the list. The nine-episode drama will be based on the British series and, like the original, follows a group of young adults who meet online and are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organisation, 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 in to the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.
“We are huge fans of Gillian Flynn’s electrifying work,” says Nick Hall, Head of Alternative Series for Amazon Studios. “She crafts stories that hold her audience in a constant state of suspense and subverts the expectations behind her characters. She will deliver Prime Video members a series they won’t forget, and Utopia’s relevance is sure to connect with viewers around the globe.”
The project is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America, Kudos, an Endemol Shine Group UK production studio, and Amazon Studios. Flynn is the creator, executive producer and showrunner of Utopia, and executive producers include Jessica Rhoades (who Flynn collaborated with on Sharp Objects), Sharon Hall, Karen Wilson, Dennis Kelly and Diederick Santer. Sharon Levy, President, Unscripted & Scripted Television, Endemol Shine North America, will oversee production for Endemol Shine.
“Utopia is pure creative catnip to me. 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. Utopia is all about exploring resonant issues within dark, twisted storytelling—it’s a series that’s urgent and current and a little holy-crap!, but a hell of a lot of a fun,” adds Flynn.
Santer, CEO of Kudos, comments: “Dennis Kelly and the team at Kudos created a unique, dark and gripping British thriller, and we are incredibly excited that it has been so brilliantly reimagined by Gillian Flynn for a new global audience.”
The series will be released exclusively on Amazon Prime Video worldwide. No release date has been confirmed.