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.
Lane will play Jessica Hyde. Described as 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.”
“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,” series creator Gillian Flynn said. “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.”
Lane made her onscreen debut in the 2016 film “American Honey.” She has gone on to star in films such as “Hearts Beat Loud” and “The Miseducation of Cameron Post.” She will next be seen in the film “Hellboy” and “Weetzie Bat.”
She is repped by WME, The Long Run, and attorney André Des Rochers.
Amazon ordered a nine-episode first season of “Utopia” back in April. The original series aired two six-episode seasons on Britain’s Channel 4 between 2013 and 2014.
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.
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” was also adapted as an HBO miniseries by Marti Noxon with Amy Adams in the lead role. Flynn wrote multiple episodes of the series in addition to executive producing.
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.