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David Fincher Interested In Producing Remake Of Brit TV Series 'Utopia' For HBO

Television
by Kevin Jagernauth
July 8, 2013 9:37 AM
11 Comments
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Utopia David Fincher

As we patiently await David Fincher's next feature to get the pieces put in place, he's been doing just fine for the moment over in TV land. "House Of Cards," which he executive produced and directed the first two episodes for, kicked off the year by not only revolutionizing how new shows are brought to market, but by also being just a top tier political drama. Critics and audiences were both taken by it, and a second season is on the way (though Fincher may not be directing), and it seems there's another British TV show he wants to bring to American audiences.

Speaking at the Série Series festival last week, director Marc Munden and producer Rebekah Wray-Rogers revealed that HBO had snapped up to the American rights to their Channel 4 series "Utopia," and that Fincher is interested in producing the remake. The show -- which aired its first season earlier in the year, and has already been renewed for a second -- follows a group of people who have their hands on a cult graphic novel called "The Utopia Experiments" that seems to have predicted no shortage of disasters. An organization only known as The Network tries to hunt them down as the group tries to prevent the next disaster predicted in the pages of manuscript from happening.

Now, it should be made clear that nothing formal is signed and this might not happen at all, but Fincher kicking the tires at leasts suggests this could be a pretty high pedigree redo. Certainly, the original creators are aiming high, as they want to get Rian Johnson to write the script (seems like a more of a wish than anything else), so we'll see where it all lands. So, just keep it in the back of your mind as a possibility for now.

Has anyone out there watched "Utopia"? Is this something Fincher could make his mark on? [Daily Mars]

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11 Comments

  • SpeedinUptoStop | July 8, 2013 9:36 PMReply

    No way Fincher doesn't water this down (full disclosure: House of Cards was laughably aimless & emotionally empty to me and I had to give up halfway). Even if you were disappointed in the flunkier science elements of Utopia and it's somewhat inconclusive ending (which was more comfortably whole than a majority of S1s in America), the show is stunning visually and the cast dynamics are something that would never make it through an American production translation (a compelling survival drama built around normal people that trounces shows like The Walking Dead). It has a dark/pop Tarantino style mixed with pulpy sci-fi plotting built to push character action from one emotionally tense stand off to the next. It's a fairly unique program as it is, not something that could be livened up in translation for Americans like some of the Swedish TV crime dramas that have been ported over recently. The plot could be tightened in rare spots but to say you want to remake something that only aired months ago? Shouldn't that interest in the property be a sign that it was great enough to check out as it is?

  • A-Man | July 8, 2013 1:40 PMReply

    They could easily top the British original - all they need to do is figure out what it's supposed to be about so when they do have their cliffhanger/no-cliffhanger finale there can at least be a sense that the writers and creators know what they're doing.

    The original series was shameful, smart-arse toss that went nowhere fast after the delightful opening episode. Mystery cannot be created if you already feel certain that the writers are already lost - or maybe they chose to stop trying to answer anything in case the audience turns around and goes "That's a shit idea with an even shittier payoff."

    No Idea is better than Any idea it seems... Which seems to be Fincher's motto as of late - this, Dragon Tattoo and his long-gestating 40,000 Leagues - all based on/remade from previous source material. Sad.

  • bohmer | July 8, 2013 12:57 PMReply

    I wished this series would go unnoticed for no one to be messing with it. It's a unique gem that you never saw on tv before...It's fucked-up but delightful.

  • Mr Anonymous | July 8, 2013 12:33 PMReply

    Seen Utopia and it's brilliant. Completely fucked up and VERY violent but great show, good storyline and has a very unique and specific visual style which made it stand out when it aired last year over here in the UK.

    Forget the remake, just get it shown over in the States first. Remake talk can come after.

  • j | July 8, 2013 11:06 AMReply

    Where's Jessica Hyde?

  • TheoC | July 8, 2013 11:02 AMReply

    Maybe I'll revisit it, I couldn't get through the first episode, twitchy flashy visual style really bothered me, it came across very superficial but I had heard good things before that. Maybe I'll check it out again.

  • Dominique (Dailymars) | July 8, 2013 11:02 AMReply

    Hi !
    I wrote the original article and I wanted to get something straight that was misunderstood in the translation : it's not the creators that wants Rian Johnson to write. It would be Fincher, while talking to HBO.
    Thanks for sharing the news !

  • Rob1990 | July 8, 2013 10:24 AMReply

    Utopia is very good. An original storyline, some fine actors and best of all (for me) the location shooting was done in and around my home city of Liverpool

    Quite violent, one scene in a school drawing a number of complaints, but a very compelling show.

    I would urge anyone not familiar with it to have a viewing

  • Sonny | July 8, 2013 10:02 AMReply

    One best things about he series was it's unique visual style - a remake, especially one by a creator with his own aesthetic, would likely lose this...

  • John K. | July 8, 2013 9:50 AMReply

    I'd much rather see US distribution of Utopia. I don't think an American version would be as good as the original.

  • JP | July 8, 2013 9:53 AM

    I agree, but if it is going to happen, Fincher is the man to see it done well.

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