David Fincher May Remake British Series Utopia, Creators Want Looper’s Rian Johnson To Script

By David Wharton | Updated

UtopiaDirector David Fincher earned some major headlines earlier this year with the addictive political drama House of Cards, one of Netflix’s high-profile line of original content premiering this year. Starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Mara, the show was actually a remake of a 1990 British series. Now it looks like Fincher may be planning following that same model and producing a new HBO series based on the British series Utopia.

Unlike House of Cards, the origina Utopia is a much more recent arrival on the scene. It premiered this past January on the U.K.’s Channel 4. Utopia involves a cult graphic novel called The Utopia Experiments, which seems to have successfully predicted many horrible disasters of the previous century. A group of people gains possession of the manuscript for a sequel to the graphic novel, and in turn finds themselves being pursued by a dangerous group called “the Network.” The group tries to stay ahead of the Network while also attempting to decipher the manuscript and prevent the upcoming disasters it predicts. Sounds a bit like Alex Proyas’ 2009 flick Knowing.

HBO nabbed the American rights to remake Utopia last week, and show director Marc Munden and producer Rebekah Wray-Rogers revealed that Fincher is entertaining the possibility of producing the American version, although nothing is official yet. The show has already been renewed for a second season, so if all goes well we might get a Being Human kind of situation where the original and remake are both unfolding simultaneously on different sides of the Atlantic.

Fincher’s name alone is enough to earn my attention, but the show’s creators also say they’re hoping to get Looper’s Rian Johnson to pen the pilot script. That’s nothing more than hopefulness and speculation at this point, but Utopia sounds like a project that would be right up his alley. On the other hand, Johnson has primarily stuck to making his own original projects, so there’s no telling if this is something he’d be interested in. He has directed for television several times, for AMC’s Breaking Bad and FX’s Terriers.

As far as I can tell, there’s no word on when or if the original Utopia will make its way over here to the States, but it sounds like a show that would fit right in on BBC America’s “Supernatural Saturdays,” a lineup that includes Doctor Who and Orphan Black.

Assuming Fincher does sign on to shepherd the American Utopia for HBO, it’s unclear if he would solely producer, or if he might direct, as he did on House of Cards.