Gone Girl just opened but its director and author team, David Fincher and Gillian Flynn, are working on a new HBO thriller series based on the British sci-fi crime drama, Utopia. While their movie just opened, they are banking on its success together.
Utopia, like House of Cards, is a British television thriller that is being crafted into an American version. (It should not be confused with the Fox-TV reality series, Utopia, that premiered in September and was supposed to air two nights a week, and has already lost its Tuesday night slot.) It has aired two six-part seasons in the U.K. and two more years are being considered.
The cult British crime drama/sci-fi series, Utopia, is about a mismatched group (like most shows) who find a global conspiracy written into a cult graphic novel. This discovery leads the group to be targeted by a sinister organization, known as The Network. While avoiding the organization, they have adventures as they try to decipher the hidden meaning in the book’s pages before disaster can strike.
The Gone Girl team working on the HBO crime thriller have committed to the entire first season. Flynn, who wrote the Gone Girl novel and screen adaptation, has been slated to write the initial season of Utopia. The author had written two novels prior to her massive best seller, and was reportedly working on another book when the Utopia opportunity arose.
Fincher, a director with a long list of credits, is best known for directing Gone Girl, The Social Network and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. He has worked on a television series before, having directed the first two episodes of House of Cards and remaining as executive producer on the show. Fincher has committed to directing every episode of Utopia during its first U.S. year.
Flynn has indicated that Fincher reached out to her via text message. “Hey, got this TV thing. It’ll take up the next year of your life. Are you in?” he reportedly transmitted. Flynn agreed without more info.
The show’s creator, Dennis Kelly, gave the Gone Girl team free reign with the Utopia scripts. One reason may be some of the controversy and outrage episodes in England drew. One issue was an episode that featured an elementary school shooting not long after the Sandy Hook tragedy in the U.S. Another episode told a fictionalized account of an actual assassination of a Member of Parliament, which was done in real-life by the Irish National Liberation Army and by The Network on the show.
For HBO, Utopia will join a slate of dramas that includes Game of Thrones, True Detective and The Leftovers. True Blood finished its final season, Boardwalk Empire is currently airing its last episodes, and the third and final season of The Newsroom will air later this year. Besides the Utopia sci-fi crime thriller the Gone Girl team is working on, HBO also has a new Jack Black and Tim Robbins comedy series in the works.
By Dyanne Weiss