Utopia is Amazon’s new eight-episode conspiracy thriller about saving the world, while trying to find your place in it.
Utopia follows a group of comic fans who meet online and bond over their obsession of a seemingly fictional comic called, “Utopia.” Together, the group discover hidden meanings within the pages of “Utopia,” that predict threats to humanity. They realize these are not just the makings of a conspiracy; but that there are very real dangers coming to their world And everyone wants their hands on the coveted comic book. The group then embarks on a deadly journey, bringing them face-to-face with the comic’s famed central character, Jessica Hyde, who ends up joining them on their mission to save the world while harboring secrets of her own.
25 NEED TO KNOW FUN FACTS ABOUT UTOPIA
- John Cusack who plays Dr. Kevin Christie in the series, Utopia, this is his first regular TV role.
- Utopia is based on Dennis Kelly’s sleek and propulsive 2013 UK series of the same name—about a group of comic-book nerds who come to believe a mysterious graphic novel may hold the key to saving the planet.
- Gillian Flynn created, wrote and executive produced the whole project for Amazon Studios. She wrote Utopia almost seven years ago while pregnant with her daughter.
- Gillian drew inspiration from 1970s paranoia thrillers like Parallax View and All the President’s Men. She said, “Gnarly, nasty, raw and unnerving —and yet I wanted to be sure it was peopled with the kinds of characters you really become fond of.”
- When Gillian pitched her vision to the studios, she described it as Marathon Man meets The Goonies. Saying “I wanted bursts of fear, epiphany and the kinds of laughs that blast out of you unexpectedly.”
- The series was filmed last year in Chicago and the editing for the show was finished during quarantine.
- In regards to the real- life pandemic, Gillian said, “Yet despite the surreal resonance, Utopia is not a medical procedure or even a story about a pandemic. This version of Utopia is ultimately a story about truth, spin, conspiracy, friendship, courage and bunnies.”
- John Cusack said he read the entire script for season one of Utopia in one day, and thought the script was very imaginative and said there were no B plot characters and a lot of thought was put into each character. While, also noting that one of his favorite characters was Jessica Hyde.
- John Cusack also said that Utopia’s season finale also featured one of the craziest things he’s ever done in his entire career, and noting that he’s done some “weird shit” before.
- Rainn Wilson who plays Micheal Stearns said that his favorite scene to shoot on Utopia was when his character get torched because he thought it was cool to scream in pain, and it was something he had never done before.
- Rainn Willson also said that the conspiracy theory aspect of this series was very relevant to today’s political landscape noting that he also thinks it’s “terrifying” that there are people in this world that do not believe the Holocaust actually happened.
- Dan Byrd who plays Ian said his favorite scene in Utopia was the first scene he did with Rainn Wilson because neither of them knew each other too well and he had to strip search him in a scene and basically look down at his trousers and his bottom all day. In response to this Rainn said it was nothing he’s ever done before.
- Ashleigh LaThrop who plays Becky said that in order for her to get in the character of Becky, that she starts by separating the real life similarities and differences between herself and her role. She also noted that the first costume fitting she did gave her the best indication of who Becky really was because she had previously had a very different idea of how Becky would dress.
- Ashleigh said in our press junket interview that her fictional illness on the show falls in line most to Parkinson’s disease and that she watched documentaries and read up on the disease as preparation for her role.
- Turns out that when auditioning, neither Ashleigh nor Dan did a chemistry read together, they both had separate auditions and then were told to act as though they were in love.
- Dan Byrd said the cast bonded over the fact that they had never been to Chicago and didn’t know anyone there so they ended up learning about each other more that way.
- In Utopia, Ian is very skeptic and is even referred to as the non-believer, Dan says he relates to Ian in the sense that he is skeptic in real life.
- Ashleigh referred to Utopia as a “love letter” to people who celebrate and are enthusiastic about fandoms.
- Javon “Wanna” Walton who plays Grant and is only 14 years old said, that regardless of the violence depicted not he series nothing was kept from him. Also noting that Utopia helped him a lot with his acting because it was a very long show with a huge production.
- Sasha who plays Jessica Hyde, said her favorite thing about Jessica was how complex she was and how Gillian Flynn wrote her.
- Javon aka Grant said his favorite scene too shoot was when he and Jessica Hyde were being chased by the cops and end up viking at a bar.
- Sasha said her favorite scene to shoot was the scene with Artemis, because the fight scene was cool.
- Both Sasha and Javon noted that in-between scenes, during down time, they spent most of their time in “crafty,” which is where all the food and snacks are at.
- Gillian said Utopia challenged her in the way that she had is many different characters with so many different point of views. And that the thing she was most attracted too was the conspiracy theory aspect of the show.
- When it comes to fandoms Sasha said that obsessions could be healthy but can also destroy you and it all depends on how far you let it go, and what drives the obsession.