What To Expect From Amazon's Utopia Remake

Utopia UK Channel 4 Header

Here's everything confirmed so far about Amazon's Utopia remake. Created by Dennis Kelly, Utopia was first broadcast in the UK in early 2013 and made an immediate impact. With a deeply mysterious conspiracy plot, a striking and visceral style and a keen sense of black humor, Utopia became a cult hit, while also stirring controversy due to its violent nature and disturbingly dark themes. Whether due to the complicated plot or graphic content, Utopia was cancelled after two seasons on a cliffhanger ending, despite fans and Kelly himself both angling for some kind of continuation to wrap up the story.

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Sadly, it seems the original Utopia is destined to go unfinished but, in some consolation, a U.S. remake is currently in production at Amazon Prime. Talk of an Utopia remake began as early as 2014, prior to the original show's cancellation, with David Fincher set to direct. Ultimately, the project never became a reality, with reports citing HBO's reluctance to meet the financial cost of Fincher's vision for the story. In 2018, it was announced that Amazon had picked up the slack and installed Gillian Flynn as showrunner.

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When Will Amazon's Utopia Remake Release?

Adeel Akhtar as Wilson Wilson in Utopia

Amazon are yet to announce an official release date for their Utopia remake, but some key details have been revealed. Firstly, Utopia season 1 will consist of 9 episodes, as per Amazon's series order from April 2018. Furthermore, filming is currently underway, with on-location shoots reported on social media as recently as last month. Since supporting cast members were still being announced in May, however, it seems that production isn't close to completion just yet. With filming, post-production and promotion still to come, fans can perhaps expect Utopia by mid-2020, given the quicker turnaround of the streaming service model.

Cast And Characters In Amazon's Utopia Remake

While a premiere date is unconfirmed, the cast of the Utopia remake appears more or less complete. Characters inspired directly from the British original are:

  • Sasha Lane (Jessica Hyde) - A mysterious woman on the run, with a ruthless attitude and many secrets.
  • Dan Byrd (Ian) - An mundane office worker dragged into a deadly conspiracy.
  • Ashleigh LaThrop (Becky) - A student with a strong interest in a strange graphic novel called "The Utopia Experiments."
  • Javon Walton (Grant) - An aggressive youngster who claims to have an unpublished Utopia sequel manuscript.
  • Desmin Borges (Wilson Wilson) - An intelligent but reclusive geek with an eye for conspiracy theories.
  • Rainn Wilson (Michael) - A meek government worker with fluid loyalties.
  • Christopher Denham (Arby) - A deranged assassin.
  • Farrah Mackenzie (Alice) - Grant's friend, who inadvertently finds herself in danger.

Other confirmed cast members include John Cusack as Dr. Kevin Christie and Gotham's Cory Michael Smith as Thomas Christie, likely of some relation. Jeanine Serralles has been cast as a character named Colleen, who could potentially be an updated version of MI5 agent Milner from the original series.

Story Details For The Utopia Remake

Alexandra Roach as Becky, Nathan Stewart-Jarrett as Ian and Adeel Akhtar as Wilson in Utopia

While it's not yet known how far Amazon's Utopia will deviate from the original, the basic premise is almost certain to be the same. Ian, Becky, Grant and Wilson are members of an online forum dedicated to mysterious cult graphic novel, "The Utopia Experiments." The group decide to finally meet in person after one of them claims to have a copy of an unpublished sequel comic, but it immediately becomes apparent that there are some who will go to great and deadly lengths to obtain the manuscript - and not just to avoid spoilers leaking online.

Chased by trained killers, the forum members desperately try to uncover the secrets of the manuscript, leading them to an enigmatic organization called The Network, who believe that drastic measures must be taken in order to preserve the future of the human race, and the Utopia comics hold the key.

New showrunner, Gillian Flynn, has already declared her intention to put her own unique stamp on Dennis Kelly's original Utopia, and this is reflected in the prominent new cast members, in particular Josh Cusack's character. Given the fate of the British series, it perhaps also wouldn't be surprising if Amazon took a more streamlined, accessible approach to the remake.

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