David Fincher & ‘Gone Girl’ Writer to Reteam on ‘Utopia’ TV Series

Published 7 months ago by

Utopia David Fincher Gillian Flynn David Fincher & Gone Girl Writer to Reteam on Utopia TV Series

Having already proven himself an able shepherd of adapted material with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, director David Fincher seemed like a natural choice to direct the adaptation of the mega-popular novel Gone Girl. The production took a somewhat unusual step in bringing the book’s author, Gillian Flynn (Dark Places), to write the film’s screenplay.

The duo’s collaboration must have gone fairly well, because they’re getting ready to team up for another project. This time, Fincher and Flynn will split directorial and screenwriting duties on the science fiction-thriller Utopia, currently being positioned as miniseries for HBO.

Announced today, Utopia will be an adaptation of a British series of the same name, which originally aired on the UK’s Channel 4 in 2013. Flynn is currently working on scripts for the series, and Fincher is set to direct the pilot episode. Both will work as executive producers alongside the original series’ creator Dennis Kelly (MI-5).

One part weird science fiction, another mystery-thriller, and another part two-fisted adventure, Utopia follows five online friends who have bonded over their love of a specific author’s comic books. When they discover that this writer has produced a secret manuscript said to predict disasters, the group agrees to meet in person to track it down. Unfortunately, their interest draws the ire of The Network – a mysterious organization that will stop at nothing to obtain the manuscript for itself.

Utopia Channel 4 Bekki Ian Wilson David Fincher & Gone Girl Writer to Reteam on Utopia TV Series

Image from Channel 4′s ‘Utopia.’

The original series was well-received, earning critical plaudits and a sizable audience during its seven-episode run. A second season is currently in production and is set to air later this year.

This is not the first time Fincher has dabbled in serialized drama. After all, his directorial hand firmly established the dark tone for the first season of House of Cards, which returns this Friday – February 14th, 2014 – and has already been renewed for a season 3.

While this is the first time Flynn has written for television, Fincher’s apparent faith in her abilities bodes well for Utopia‘s production. Though little is known currently known about the direction the American version of the series will take, it’s an undeniably interesting project that’s worth keeping a few eyes on. Be sure to keep your own eye on Screen Rant as more about Utopia comes to light.

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Utopia does not yet have a firm air date.

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TAGS: utopia

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  1. Interestingly, I had never heard of this supposedly well-known novel until now…

    In Hollywood, it makes me wonder whose girlfriend/daughter/niece/mistress… Gillian Flynn is…

    As for Fincher, I really dislike his work, and particularly his fondness for video images. He is supposed to be a “visual director” yet his work looks terrible…

    As for the article, I am amazed that the fact that a writer has “faith in her abilities” bides well for a project. David Koepp is entirely confident in his abilities too…

    • That comment on Flynn is in poor taste.

      ‘Gone Girl’ was on several best-seller lists for many weeks. Google it and you’ll know.

      • Sorry you felt I was in poor taste, but I truly had never even heard of that writer until I read this article and I am sick and tired of reading empty hype for people whose main job qualification is being someone’s buddy/daughter/niece/significant other.

        Also, with the right money you can buy your way into best-seller lists. Google it. ;)

        • Are you kidding? Gone Girl is huge and has been for a while. Just because you haven’t heard of something, doesn’t mean it’s not big or popular of its own accord. What a joke.

          • No. I’m not kidding.

            Best seller lists don’t really mean all that much (you do know people with enough money can pay to get on them don’t you?)

            That book might be a genuine best-seller, but how would I know? It’s not something anyone I know has read or even heard about, so to me it looks like yet another excuse to hire someone’s niece/daughter/girlfriend/whatever…

            Given the way Hollywood works on connections, I’m sick and tired of reading they hire based on talent. If they did the current TV shows and movies wouldn’t be so awful.

    • @ Rena Moretti

      Normally I’d avoid responding to a comment like yours but I’m snowed in and bored so I need to kill time.

      Gone Girl was one of the biggest books of 2012-13. It spent @ 8 weeks on the NYT best seller list and was critically praised across the board. So implying the Flynn must be getting some sort of special treatment is a pretty low blow.

      Now with David Fincher if you don’t like his work, you don’t like his work and that’s fine but you’re in the minority with that opinion. For a lot of fans and critics he hasn’t made a bad movie yet with exception of Alien 3 but over the years the opinion of that movie is changing. Between his music videos and movies he is generally considered to be among the bast directors working today.

      • Thanks for the considered response.

        The reality of Hollywood is that people get jobs and PR like this article when they’re well-connected, not when they’re talented (although if they’re accidentally also talented it’s grudgingly acceptable as long as they close their big mouth and do what executives tell them to!)

        On David Fincher. I entirely disagree, and as I place exactly zero value on what critics says or what awards boards like, this isn’t going to make me any more excited about his generally uninteresting work.

        Funnily, of the projects of his I’ve seen Alien 3, while bad, is the one I like best. :)

        The fact that he is “considered” (by whom?) among the best directors in Hollywood validates the poor opinion I have of today’s Hollywood, where connections and yes-manism hold complete sway.

        • This is hilarious. First it was, “I’ve never heard of this person or her book so she must be Fincher’s girlfriend,” and now it’s “well, just because it’s really popular and on the best seller’s list and everyone but me has heard of it doesn’t mean anything…she probably still just got to where she was by being someone’s girlfriend!” You could’ve just saved yourself the trouble of writing all that nonsense and said, “Oops, I was wrong, my bad.”

          • Glad I made you laugh, but for some reason, I don’t think I ever said that.

            As you’ll find if you re-read my responses, I don’t think that person is all that “popular” and I don’t think much of best-seller lists, given the sadly thin market for books these days.

            As you probably don’t know, many writers buy their way to best-seller status. It’s not that expensive if you have a nice PR budget.

            So no, I don’t think I’m wrong. Based on how Hollywood works and the actual notoriety of that writer, the chances of her being hired for her talent or notoriety, is 0.00000000…0000001%.

            But yeah, sure, it COULD happen… But it didn’t.

            Hollywood loves to tell us they are looking everywhere for talent. They don’t like doing the work of looking everywhere for talent (or perhaps they think “everywhere” means within their circle of friends and family…) ;)

  2. Fincher’s directing? I’m in. The original series was a curious fish; kept one guessing, and even if the denouement was slightly underwhelming, it certainly left an impression. Neil Maskell – also brilliant in Kill List – managed to make the simple question “Where is Jessica Hyde?” bloody terrifying.

    This is one instance where I think an American interpretation could work extremely well. I’m not familiar with Gillian Flynn’s work, but I’m intrigued to see what someone who’s primarily a novelist rather than a TV hack can bring to this. Having Dennis Kelly on board in any capacity can only be a good thing as well.

    • @ The Big Dentist

      After reading this article I tried to find Utopia on Amazon or Netflix streaming but it’s not available so I have to decide if I want to buy the Blu-ray.
      Is it worth it or should I hold out until it’s available to watch another way?

      • Depends how much the Blu-ray is, Kevin! Just six episodes (not seven), so it doesn’t drag things out unnecessarily, and although the second season’s being filmed, it’s quite self-contained. It’s certainly unique and rewatchable – well written and acted, with good cinematography and a great soundtrack. High-concept but very character-driven, with the likes of Stephen Rea, James Fox, Simon McBurney and Paul Higgins (the other feral Scotsman from The Thick Of It) in supporting roles. Up there with the Charlie Brooker series Black Mirror in terms of being dark, funny, brutal and thought-provoking. Here’s the original Channel 4 trailer:-

    • I do take exception to the phrase “TV hack”. Whiel many hacks like Rob Thomas, J.J. Abrams, Ronald D. Moore etc… work constantly today, there are many, many really good TV writers (a lot of them not finding jobs because of whatever excuse the executives find to keep hiring the same losers).

      • I fail to see the logic in taking exception to a generalised phrase, and then proceeding to state not only that TV hacks do indeed exist, but naming specific names in the process.

        • I guess I was too terse. I do take exception because it made it sound like the fact those writers work on TV and not movies made them hacks (as this was the usual sense of the term). To me TV writers used to be at least as good and often better better for the longest time (80s, 90s) as TV was a “writer’s medium”.

          Today’s movie writers and directors are almost all hacks, so to me saying “TV hacks” is at best misleading and I guess misses the point that most of today’s Hollywood writers are hacks (whether from lack of talent of forced by the people with the checkbooks interfering more than ever is a good question).

          Is that clearer? :)

          • No worries. :-)

  3. Six little words to David Fincher : The girl who played with fire. To quote Rooney Mara herself, : “I’m not getting younger”.

  4. I watched the original British version of Utopia, and I must say it was far and away the best new series of 2013. The production quality is unlike anything I’ve seen before. It is really well done and does a great job keeping you guessing and on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this.

    • You make it sound great.

      My question is then, as usual: why make another version? What’s the point?!!!! Besides the “right” people making money. If the original was great, then it’s wonderful, but it’s done.

      • Not necessarily. I’m no great supporter of remakes, but this is one that has a great deal of potential. The original was distinctly British in its look and tone, use of music and black humour etc; peculiar and difficult to categorise (in a good way). That this reworking involves a film director – like him or not – reknowned for certain visual aesthetics and attention to detail, a novelist and the original showrunner is intriguing to me. I want to see what they can bring to the table.

        • Well, I know him as “video guy” and gave up on his making a good movie, so we have a very different assessment of his “talent”…

          As for remakes, I am biased because the reason they make remakes is to avoid doing anything remotely original as it is “dangerous” (to their careers when it flops.)

          Remakes are “safe” because the “how could I know the remake wouldn’t work” flies with the inept owner of the Hollywood conglomerates.

          But for each remake that works (can’t think of one I liked in the last ten years) there are hundreds that are awful creative messes (mostly because of the kind brilliant notes from the network wringing everything that made the original good out of the remake).

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