Stop Me If You've Heard This Before, But a Global Pandemic Ravages the Earth in Utopia's First Trailer

Comic book conspiracies abound. Jessica Rothe as Samantha in Utopia.
Comic book conspiracies abound. Jessica Rothe as Samantha in Utopia.
Photo: Amazon
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This time though, the answers to stopping it don’t lie in our current reality of wearing masks and keeping apart from each other. Instead, they’re...inside a comic book?

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Amazon has just dropped the first full trailer for Utopia, the American adaptation of the 2015 UK series of the same name. It’s another step on what has been a very long road: the adaptation was formally announced back in 2014, when David Fincher was set to helm the project for HBO before it was scrapped, but now the series has finally made its way to existence at an entirely different studio.

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Just like the (excellent) British series before it, Amazon’s Utopia, written by Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn, follows a group of comic book geeks—Becky (Ashleigh LaThrop), Ian (Dan Byrd), Samantha (Jessica Rothe), Wilson Wilson (Desmin Borges), and Grant (Javon “Wanna” Walton)—who meet up in person after getting to know each other online. Then, they discover that their favorite cult classic comic is eerily predicting apocalyptic events that start unfolding in real life.

Like, say, a viral pandemic. Oh dear.

Using the comic as their guide, the friends find themselves caught up in one global conspiracy after another as they attempt to save the world, battle a very sinister-looking John Cusack, and meet the real-life version of their mysterious comic book hero in the process.

The British original was an absolutely incredible bit of TV, a cult classic of the 2010s in its own right. Hopefully, after taking such a long journey to get to our screens, this version can live up to it. Utopia is set to begin streaming on Amazon Prime September 25.

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James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!

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DISCUSSION

I have not seen the British version, but I must say that, on principle, I don’t see the point of this version. From that synopsis alone, there doesn’t to be much that is culturally unique to Brirish culture that an American recontextualization is needed.

Like, I get redoing a comedy, because humor is extremely hard to translate culturally, even if you share a language. I get redoing political thrilller, because political culture is extremely different between US and UK. But a serious sci-fi show? I don’t see the need.