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David Fincher to Direct Every Episode of Utopia

At the moment David Fincher is surfing the press circuit with interviews for his latest project, Gone Girl. However, that hasn’t stopped him from expressing his desire to direct every single episode of Utopia first season for HBO. That is quite a statement for a man who’s going to be very busy in the coming years.

Utopia was originally a British Channel 4 series of the same name, which was created by British play, and television writer, Dennis Kelly.

The series follows a small group of people who find themselves in possession of the manuscript sequel of a cult graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments which is rumoured to have predicted the worst disasters of the last century. This leads them to be targeted by an organisation known as The Network, which they must avoid to survive. Using the manuscript, they must uncover the meaning hidden in its pages before the disasters depicted become reality.

It’s a complicated series, and a very successful one as it boasts a healthy 8.5 rating on IMDB with over 11,000 votes. It is rare for a British TV series to get that many votes considering viewership is never very high for new TV drama.

The reason for the success over the pond is mainly because of its ambitious storytelling which successfully mixes a dark and noir-ish tone, with fantasy and surreal elements that are all sprinkled with a few laughs here and there. It also has an immenent sense of doom which hangs over the characters at all times. It is the one thing that has glued viewers to their seats to tune into a series that is tailor made for a David Fincher adaption.

The British version of Utopia was a big hit when it first aired, offering something slightly different than the usual crime/drama.

The dark and seedy tone is something that obviously attracted Fincher, as his work in the past like Se7en, Fight Club, and Zodiac all had these kind of tropes Utopia has. Here is what Fincher had to say to tells British newspaper, The Guardian. when he was asked what else inspired him to tackle this adaption:

“I like the characters – I love Dennis Kelly’s honesty and affinity for the nerds. I mean, I’ve always been a bit of a junior conspiracy theorist ‘cos I don’t have time to connect them all! But it’s nice to see that somebody has.”

Gillian Flynn,who wrote the Gone Girl novel and the script for Fincher’s film version, is going to pen the remake with Dennis Kelly’s blessing. So, if that’s an indication of the series keeping a similar tone to the British version, then expect Flynn’s trademark creepy and slightly disturbing style.

HBO is earning a reputation as a network that’s prepared to take risks on new and “bold” shows. Take for instance this year’s drama, The Leftovers, that was not something many people would think would work, as it mainly focused on the people left behind after a rapture-like event, but it gained a fan base which earned it a second season. So, there is no reason as to why America’s Utopia won’t be a success to.

David Fincher is going to be very busy in the coming years, as projects like The Girl Who Played With Fire (the sequel to his Swedish remake, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), and another HBO series set in 1950s Los Angeles are all going to be on Fincher’s long list of yet-to-be-made projects.

Let me know below whether you think the combination of Flynn and Fincher will be successful for re-creating Channel 4’s Utopia.