“What have you done today to earn your place in this crowded world?” That’s the sinister opening line of the first trailer for Amazon Prime’s Utopia, which just dropped during San Diego Comic-Con 2020. Based on the 2013 British series of the same name, Utopia is Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn’s “bumpy, dirty, raw, real” reimagining of a story featuring a quartet of nerds who get drawn into a world of deep-state government conspiracies and hitmen after a character named Jessica Hyde seemingly steps out of the pages of their favorite comic book.
Flynn, who’s the writer and executive producer, joined stars John Cusack, Rainn Wilson, Sasha Lane, Dan Byrd, Ashleigh Lathrop, Desmin Borges, Javon “Wanna” Walton, and Jessica Rothe for a Comic-Con panel moderated by Entertainment Weekly‘s Christian Holub, where they talked about their characters, changes to the original series, and teased the twists and turns of the upcoming series.
Skip ahead to 1:57 for the creepily topical trailer, which involves rogue scientists, climate change, doomsday prepping, a masked figure named Mr. Rabbit, and (yes) a viral pandemic.
“Even though I started this project almost seven years ago now, trying to get it made, it never feels more resonant [than] right now,” said Flynn, describing the show as a “conspiracy thriller” at its “core.” “We’re all sort of seeking answers, doubting answers, asking questions, not sure [what’s] up and down, and also feeling that we are on the edge of something very dark and wanting to be saved and wanting people to come in and find the answers and do something.”
In the panel, the writer said that in addition to Americanizing the original narrative, she also wanted to make it “gritty and dirty and nasty in a very realistic way.” “Whereas [original series creator Dennis Kelly] took his cues from the graphic novels themselves,” she said, “I took my cues more from the ’70s paranoia thrillers that I love that came out after Watergate, that came out in that era where no one trusted anyone and there was a breakdown in what society, the government, the world was feeling like.”
Here’s the official synopsis:
A twisted, eight-episode thriller about a group of young comic fans who discover the conspiracy in a graphic novel is real, and embark on a high-stakes adventure to save humanity from the end of the world.
Utopia arrives on Amazon Prime this fall, according to Entertainment Weekly, which also has first-look pictures and a sneak peek at changes to the original storyline.