The Amazon Prime Video science fiction series Utopia has been canceled after one eight-episode season, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. The series is the creation of best-selling author Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects) and was based on a British conspiracy thriller of the same name with a cult following, according to The Guardian. The original British show ran for twelve episodes.
Utopia follows five teenagers who find secret messages in a comic book that prophecy mankind’s ultimate downfall, which sends them on a huge adventure where they come face to face with assassins, a megalomaniacal tech billionaire and the comic book’s main character, Jessica Hyde (Sasha Lane, Hearts Beat Loud), Entertainment Weekly reports. The cast includes a mix of familiar faces like Rainn Wilson (The Office, Backstrom), John Cusack (Grosse Pointe Blank, Say Anything) and Fiona Dourif (Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Curse of Chucky), as well as relative newcomers like Ashleigh LaThorp (The Kominsky Method, Fifty Shades Freed) and boxing prodigy Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton (Euphoria, Samaritan). Utopia represented Cusack’s first job as a television series regular.
In a remotely conducted New York Comic-Con panel discussion, Flynn discussed what she had in mind in regard to a second season of Utopia: “We have to go further with [Jessica’s] dad… I already know the entire backstory… There’s a lot of fun to be had, whereas in season one, Dad is this kind of mythological creature. Like all dads, we’ll come to learn that he is just human and has his issues.” In the British series, Jessica’s father Philip Carvel is played by Ian McDiarmid, best known for portraying Emperor Palpatine in the Star Wars franchise. Tom Burke (Mank, Only God Forgives) played Carvel in flashbacks.
The last question posed to the panel was about who they would want to portray Jessica’s father in a potential second season. LaThorp floated the idea of casting Irish actor Andrew Scott (Fleabag, My Life in Film). Cusack, meanwhile, had envisioned the character as Swedish screen legend Max von Sydow (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Seventh Seal).”Everything’s better with Max von Sydow,” Flynn mused. The two-time Oscar nominee passed away in March 2020. The NYCC panel can be viewed in its entirety below.