'Utopia': High Fidelity's John Cusack Joins Amazon's Gillian Flynn Conspiracy-Thriller Series

Gone Girl author/screenwriter Gillian Flynn's upcoming Amazon Studios adaptation of British series Utopia has a new name to add to The Deep State's "list," with our personal pop culture "spirit animal"* John Cusack (High Fidelity, Grosse Pointe Blank) joining co-stars Rainn Wilson (The Office), Sasha Lane (American Honey), and Javon "Wanna" Walton (Euphoria) on the nine-episode series. With Flynn serving as the project's creator, executive producer, writer, and showrunner, the conspiracy-thriller received a straight-to-series order and stands as the first project under Flynn's overall television deal with the streaming giant.

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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.

Cusack's (Better Off Dead) Dr. Kevin Christie is a charismatic, media-savvy and brilliant biotech mind who wants to change the world through science.

Wilson's (Star Trek: Discovery, Mom) 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 (Hellboy) 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 (Steve) 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.

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.

(* Better Off Dead, One Crazy Summer, Grosse Point Blank, and High Fidelity – worth the worship for those alone.)


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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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