Amazon Studios has ordered the series adaptation of the British drama Utopia from showrunner Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl, Sharp Objects), according to The Hollywood Reporter. Flynn will also serve as creator and executive producer. The other executive producers include Jessica Rhoades (Flynn’s Sharp Objects collaborator), Karen Wilson, Sharon Hall, and Kelly and Diederick Santer. “Utopia is pure creative catnip to me,” Flynn said. “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.”
“We are huge fans of Gillian Flynn’s electrifying work,” said the head of alternative series at Amazon Studios Nick Hall. “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 drama, based on Dennis Kelly’s British series of the same name, follows a group of young adults who meet online and are hunted by a “shadowy deep state” organization after they find an almost mythical “cult underground” graphic novel. They believe that the conspiracy theories in the graphic novel’s pages could be real and they must save the world.
Felicia Terrell will play Hailey Alvez who interviews the pharmaceutical giant Kevin Christie about a new product. Dustin Ingram will play Tallman, a wealthy and eccentric book collector who will go to extremes in order to obtain the novel Utopia. The cast also includes Dan Byrd (Cougar Town) as the college grad Ian, Cory Michael Smith (Gotham), as the biotechnician Thomas Christie, Ashleigh LaThrop (Sirens, The 100, The Kominsky Method) as the empathic Becky, Farrah Mackenzie (Ascension, Logan Lucky) as the curious foster child Alice, Christopher Denham (Shutter Island, Billions) as the sociopath Arby, Desmin Borges (You’re the Worst) as the eccentric Wilson Wilson, and Rainn Wilson who will appear as Michael Stearns together with Sasha Lane (American Honey).
Lane will play the “tough and feral”Jessica Hyde. She believes that the graphic novel Utopia is the key to unlock the mystery behind her complex life history. “As I’ve been writing Utopia and trying to imagine the actor who could possibly embody Jessica Hyde, Sasha Lane has constantly kicked her way into my mind,” Flynn told Variety. “She has the shape-shifting ability to feel at once raw, unpredictable and a little unnerving while also making you want to wrap your arms around her. I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her play this utterly unique character.”
Utopia is a co-production between Amazon Studios, Endemol Shine North America, and Kudos (its U.K. production studio).
Amazon will distribute the show in 200 countries and territories. The series still does not have a premiere date.