David Fincher’s Utopia remake cancelled by HBO

The cast of the US remake of Utopia are released from their contracts as HBO kills the show

Neil Maskell in Utopia
Neil Maskell in Utopia
Neil Maskell in Utopia

Rumours that David Fincher and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s US remake of the Channel 4 series Utopia was in trouble seem to have been well-founded, as it looks like HBO has put a definitive halt to the project.

Deadline reports that the network and Fincher could not reach an agreement over the budget and that the actors, who have apparently been rehearsing for a month, have all been released from their contracts.

In addition to the previously reported Rooney Mara, the cast apparently included Colm Feore (Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Eric McCormack (Will & Grace, Perception), Dallas Roberts (The Walking DeadDallas Buyers Club), Jason Ritter (Gravity Falls, Girls), Brandon Scott (Wreck It Ralph) and Agyness Deyn (Clash Of The Titans, Patient Zero).

It was previously rumoured that Fincher wanted a $100 million budget, whereas HBO would not go above $95 million. Deadline reports that the network is “still high” on the concept and might give it another go without Fincher attached. Our enthusiasm for a Utopia remake pretty much came from the idea of someone as brilliant as Fincher working an author as strong as Flynn, so the replacement would have to be pretty bloody special.

The network also owns the rights to the show, so there’s no chance of Fincher taking it anywhere else, and while the actors have been released, Deadline says that they’re likely to be the first choices if another director steps in. Will they want to do it without Fincher though?

Fincher’s second HBO project, music video comedy Synchronicity, has also fallen apart, apparently beyond resuscitation. Maybe a Fincher-HBO collaboration just isn’t meant to be…

But still, never mind, there’s always the excellent original series.

Fiona O'Shaughnessy as Jessica Hyde
Fiona O’Shaughnessy as Jessica Hyde

“The Utopia Experiments is a legendary graphic novel shrouded in mystery. But when a small group of previously unconnected people find themselves in possession of an original manuscript, their lives suddenly and brutally implode.

Targeted swiftly and relentlessly by a murderous organisation known as The Network, the terrified gang are left with only one option if they want to survive: they have to run. But just as they think their ordeal is over, their fragile normality comes crashing down once again.

The Network, far from being finished, are setting their destructive plans into motion. The gang now face a race against time, to prevent global annihilation.”

You can buy Utopia Series 1-2 on DVD for £7.10 at Amazon.co.uk. Keep up with the latest genre news with the new issue of SciFiNow.