×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Utopia’ Lands Series Order at Amazon, Creator Gillian Flynn Inks Overall Deal at Studio

The long-gestating American adaptation of “Utopia” has been ordered to series at AmazonVariety has learned.

In addition, series creator Gillian Flynn has inked an overall deal with Amazon Studios, with “Utopia” being the first project under that deal. Based on the British series of the same name created by Dennis Kelly, “Utopia” follows group of young adults who meet online and are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come in to 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.

Amazon has ordered a nine-episode first season. The original series aired two six-episode seasons on Britain’s Channel 4 between 2013 and 2014.

“’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.”

Flynn is best known for writing the novel “Gone Girl” as well as the screenplay for the blockbuster film adaptation of the same name. Her novel “Sharp Objects” is also being adapted as an HBO miniseries by Marti Noxon with Amy Adams set to star.

She first became attached to “Utopia” in 2014 when it was set up at HBO with “Gone Girl” director David Fincher set to direct and executive produce. But the series stalled in 2015 when Fincher and HBO were reportedly unable to come to terms on the show’s budget. That will likely be less of a problem with Amazon, as the streamer has undergone a major programming shift in recent months. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has called for the streaming service to develop large-scale dramas with global appeal, such as the upcoming “Lord of the Rings” television adaptation.

The series is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America and Kudos, an Endemol Shine Group UK production studio, and Amazon Studios. Flynn will serve as executive producer and showrunner with Kelly also set to executive produce. Jessica Rhoades, who collaborated with Flynn on “Sharp Objects,” will also executive produce along with Sharon Hall, Karen Wilson, and Diederick Santer. Sharon Levy, president of unscripted and scripted television for Endemol Shine North America, will oversee production for Endemol Shine. Levy is said to have been instrumental in reviving the project, taking it to Amazon shortly after she joined Endemol Shine back in August and helping negotiate with Amazon and Kudos.

“We are huge fans of Gillian Flynn’s electrifying work,” said 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.”

Flynn is repped by WME.

More TV

  • Apple-TV-subscription-streaming-event

    Apple TV 'Show Time' Event: How to Watch Live-Stream

    Monday is the coming-out party for Apple’s Hollywood ambitions: After years of trademark secrecy about its plans to stream into video entertainment, the tech giant is set to pull back the curtain at a media event. The live program kicks off at 10 a.m. PT / 1 p.m. ET, on Monday, March 25, from the [...]

  • Rosie O'Donnell Had a Crush on

    'The View' Book: Rosie O'Donnell Reveals Secret Crush on Elisabeth Hasselbeck

    For most of Season 10 of “The View,” which aired from 2006 to 2007, Rosie O’Donnell and Elisabeth Hasselbeck publicly feuded on TV. But in a new book, O’Donnell reveals more complicated emotions about her former conservative colleague. In “Ladies Who Punch: The Explosive Inside Story of ‘The View'” by Variety‘s Ramin Setoodeh, O’Donnell talks [...]

  • THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON

    Samsung Offers 'Tonight' Audience Different View of Jimmy Fallon

    Samsung wants to change the way viewers look at Jimmy Fallon. Monday night’s broadcast of NBC’s “Tonight Show” will feature no opening monologue and no traditional sit-downs with guests. Instead, Fallon will open the program by telling viewers that the entire episode has been shot with the Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone, which features an ultra-wide [...]

  • Netflix Producing Second Turkish Original, 'The

    Netflix Boards Second Turkish Original, 'The Gift,' Starring Beren Saat

    Netflix has announced its second Turkish original, supernatural drama “The Gift,” toplining local star Beren Saat, who is best-known for playing the lead in female empowerment drama “Fatmagul,” which was a global hit. Shooting has started in Istanbul, with British producer Alex Sutherland (“Argo”) shepherding the eight-episode show, which is produced by Turkey’s OG Medya [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    DirecTV, Viacom Avert Blackout After Marathon Negotiation

    DirecTV and Viacom have agreed on a carriage renewal pact covering a raft of Viacom’s cable channels after a marathon negotiation over the weekend. In a joint statement early Monday, the companies said: “We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT&T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products. [...]

  • Osmosis

    Netflix Feeds Fantasy-Hungry YAs in France

    LILLE, France —  The series the audience was about to see on Sunday night at Lille’s central UGC Cine-Cité multiplex wasn’t even playing in Series Mania’s main International Competition. But in many ways, Netflix’s” “Osmosis” was certainly among the most-anticipated of shows at this year’s festival. The excitement before the screening was palpable, and pointed [...]

  • Series Mania: Q & A with

    Series Mania: ‘Hierro’ as ‘Southern Noir’ and an Industry Groundbreaker

    LILLE, France —  Banijay Rights-sold “Hierro” begins with sea, land, air and fire: Shots of the stunning volcanic isle of El Hierro, the most westerly point of Spain’s Canary Islands, with its black basalt rock, brown iron-rich gravel, white waves pummeling the coast, trees trunks twisted by wind and lava, a juniper bent double by [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content