HBO is adding to its drama haul, ordering a remake of British conspiracy thriller Utopia to series.
The premium cable network is teaming with Gone Girl duo David Fincher and author Gillian Flynn to produce a drama based on the Channel 4 drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. As part of the deal, HBO has inked Flynn to an overall deal to pen the American adaptation. Fincher will direct and executive produce.
The six-episode Utopia, from Kudos and writer-creator Dennis Kelly, aired on Channel 4 last year and starred Fiona O'Shaughnessy, Alexandra Roach and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett. Production on the second season is nearly complete for a Channel 4 U.K. premiere in 2014.
The HBO story revolves the die-hard fans of an iconic, underground graphic novel who are suddenly launched into their own pop-culture thriller when they learn that the author has secretly written a sequel. Unfortunately, the new manuscript is much more than just a book and those on the hunt for it suddenly find themselves in a game of shifting loyalties, conspiracy and shocking twists as the true meaning of the book is slowly revealed.
HBO and Shine America (Gracepoint, The Bridge) will co-produce the series. Kelley will executive produce the remake alongside original EP Jane Featherstone, Joshua Donen (House of Cards) and Shine America exec vp scripted programming Carolyn G. Bernstein.
HBO's Utopia reunites Fincher with Flynn, who are teaming for the for 20th Century Fox and New Regency's big-screen adaptation of her best-selling phenomenon Gone Girl. Utopia marks Flynn's first foray into scripted television. The author is currently adapting Gone Girl and penning the screenplay for Fincher, who will direct. It also serves as Fincher's latest small-screen entry and joins Netflix's House of Cards. The deal comes three years after Netflix outbid HBO to land Fincher's House of Cards.
For HBO, Utopia joins a drama slate that includes Game of Thrones, The Leftovers and True Detective as well as departing dramas Boardwalk Empire, The Newsroom and True Blood.
The Utopia order comes a day after HBO picked up The Brink, a comedy starring Jack Black and Tim Robbins, to series.
An episode count and premiere date have not yet been announced.
Is there a reason why they can't just buy the rights and air the original?