Gone Girl author-screenwriter Gillian Flynn's upcoming Amazon Studios adaptation of British series Utopia, has been keeping pretty quiet since it started production, even before the COVID-19 production shutdowns. That changed on Thursday when the streaming service offered viewers their first look at the highly-anticipated series. With Flynn serving as the project's creator, executive producer, writer, and showrunner, the nine-episode conspiracy-thriller received a straight-to-series order and is the first project under Flynn's overall television deal with the streaming giant.
Utopia follows a group of young adults who meet online that are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel. Within the comic's pages, they discover the conspiracy theories that may actually be real and are forced into the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world. The series stars John Cusack (High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank), Rainn Wilson (The Office), Sasha Lane (American Honey), Javon "Wanna" Walton (Euphoria), Jessica Rothe (Happy Death Day 2U), Ashleigh LaThrop (Fifty Shades Freed), Dan Byrd (Cougar Town), Desmin Borges (You're The Worst), Felisha Terrell (Shooter), and Dustin Ingram (Watchmen). Here's a look at what you need to know about some of our players:
Cusack's Dr. Kevin Christie is a charismatic, media-savvy and brilliant biotech mind who wants to change the world through science. Wilson's Michael Stearns was once a promising virologist, now a forgotten scientist who's lost his edge—under-appreciated and underfunded in his laboratory work. When a nationwide outbreak of a deadly flu arises, Michael offers his expertise, and soon finds he has landed smack in the middle of something much bigger. Lane's Jessica Hyde: tough and feral after a life on the run from a mysterious and dangerous group, Jessica believes all the answers about her perplexing life story may be hidden in the graphic novel Utopia. Walton's Grant is streetwise beyond his years, independent, fearless, crafty, and charming. Raised in the Kansas City projects by an alcoholic single mother, he's now roaming the streets alone.
Grant embarks on a dangerous mission to uncover the secrets from Utopia. Rothe's Samantha is extremely idealistic, sharp-witted, and a natural-born leader. She earnestly believes in changing the world through action and scoffs at cheap rhetoric about progress. She could school any comic book nerd about the graphic novel Utopia and is embarking on a mission to uncover its secrets. Terrell's Hailey Alvez is a sharp, rising star in journalism with a friendly air and affable manner. She interviews pharmaceutical giant Kevin Christie about his groundbreaking new product and asks some serious, pointed questions. Ingram's Tallman is extremely wealthy and eerily eccentric. A collector of priceless comic books, Tallman will go to great lengths to get his hands on the mysterious graphic novel, Utopia.
Created by Dennis Kelly and produced by Endemol Shine Group's UK production studio Kudos, the original Utopia premiered on Channel 4 and aired for two seasons. Lead character Jessica Hyde was portrayed by Fiona O'Shaughnessy (Striking Out, My Mother and Other Strangers) Utopia is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America/Kudos and Amazon Studios. Flynn, Kelly, Jessica Rhoades, Kudos' Karen Wilson, and Diederick Santer, and Sharon Hall will executive produce. President of Unscripted & Scripted Television for Endemol Shine North America Sharon Levy will oversee production.