TV News: Channel 4's UTOPIA Being Remade for the US

Written by Dominic Cuthbert Thursday, 13 February 2014

TV News

Attitudes towards television have always differed across the pond. Britain has a history of nursing series, not all of them easy on the eyes, and contributing to the idea of cult TV shows such as THE PRISONER. Today, however, there’s a sense of each nation trying to outdo one another in terms of production, acting and audience. Combining forces, as in the case of the hugely successful GAME OF THRONES, seems only logical, but that’s an argument for another time.

Channel 4’s UTOPIA, for all intents and purposes, was a successful, interesting and quite barmy show. It was inevitable that the US would want a crack at it themselves, following in a trend of UK shows remade for an American audience. HBO, more so in the last few years, has really been a high bench mark of TV and, perhaps unsurprisingly, is bridging the gap between film and TV. Let’s face it, it’s hard to see much of a difference, what with increasing production values and budgets. Gritty filmmaker David Fincher and GONE GIRL (Fincher’s latest film effort) writer Gillian Flynn will be the driving creative force behind the show.

Fincher was involved with the Netflix drama HOUSE OF CARDS, and it clearly left an impression. HBO has granted him flexibility to take the show as far as the UK equivalent explored. He’s set to write at least the pilot episode. Fincher may become the leading force in high profile directors straddling both TV and film.

It’ll be interesting to see how the show translates, culturally speaking, and whether it’ll get the same reception. Hopefully some of the kinks will be ironed out and there’ll be an altogether more well-rounded series.

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