News Briefs: House of Cards' David Fincher Is Remaking Utopia at HBO

By Kaitlin Thomas

Feb 13, 2014


... Gone Girl director David Fincher has finally discovered what the rest of us already know: that television is better than movies! The House of Cards director—who just finished work on a film adaptation of Gillian Flynn's novel Gone Girl—is reuniting with Flynn to adapt the British thriller Utopia for HBO and Shine America. HBO has already ordered Utopia to series, and it's about a group of people who super hardcore fans of a graphic novel. After discovering that a sequel exists, they go searching for the manuscript, and the hunt helps them slowly learn the meaning of the book. Fincher will both direct the pilot and serve as an executive producer on the show. [Variety]


... CBS chief Les Moonves has confirmed that Elementary and The Big Bang Theory will relocate to different nights this fall, now that CBS has acquired Thursday Night Football for eight weeks. Told ya so! [Deadline]

... When Lifetime announced in September that it was divorcing the long-running series Army Wives, the network also promised to send the show off with a retrospective special. Army Wives: A Final Salute will air Sunday, March 16 at 9pm and include interviews with Kim Delaney, Sally Pressman, Wendy Davis Brigid Brannagh, Sterling K. Brown, Terry Serpico, Brian McNamara, Drew Fuller, and Jeremy Davidson. I assume all of these people were on the show, but for all I know, they could just be random strangers pulled in off the street. [TV Line]

... Fox has ordered Will Forte's new comedy Last Man on Earth to series. Forte is both the creator and the star of the comedy, which follows one man's journey to save the human race. Uh, bro, I think you might need a little help with such a task! [Variety]

... U2 will perform "Ordinary Love," from Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, at the Oscars. Fun fact: The last time U2 performed at the Oscars, the band lost the Academy Award for Best Original Song to Eminem, who won it for "Lose Yourself." Somewhere out there, Bono is talking trash about Frozen and just praying that the Academy doesn't love "Let It Go" as much as the rest of the world. [ABC via press release]

... truTV has greenlit The Safecrackers, a new unscripted series that follows the lives of two Alabama locksmiths, Phil Crawford and his buddy Blaze (no official confirmation on whether that's his birth name or a self-proclaimed nickname, but I feel confident that it could be either). The duo can apparently break into the world's toughest vaults, and starting on March 24, they'll spend six half-hour episodes traveling the country and unlocking some antique safes that no one cares about, just like this series. BOOM. [truTV via press release]

... The first guests for Late Night With Seth Meyers—which premieres Monday, February 24—are as follows: 

Monday, February 24: Amy Poehler, Vice President Joe Biden 

Tuesday, February 25: Kanye West and author Robyn Doolittle

Wednesday, February 26: Kelly Ripa and Brad Paisley

Thursday, February 27: Lena Dunham and Anthony Mackie

Friday, February 28: The reigning kings of friendship Sir Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and Sophia Bush 

[NBC via press release]


... Cristin Milioti, who's currently starring as How I Met Your Mother's titular Mother, just landed the female lead in A to Z, the new NBC comedy pilot from Rashida Jones. She'll play a character named Zelda in the show that tells the story of a relationship from the meet cute to the inevitable break-up. [TV Line]

... Donal Logue (VikingsSons of AnarchyTerriers) is the latest actor to join the rapidly expanding cast of Gotham. He'll play Detective Harvey Bullock in the Batman project, which has a series commitment at Fox. At this point, I'm feeling pretty good about Gotham, even if it is another comic book series. [Warner Brothers via press release]

... OMG, OMG, OMG. Sharknado 2The Second One is getting better and better with each passing day. Tara Reid and Ian Ziering recently agreed to return (because they need the money, duh), and now they're being joined by Not Sugar Ray Mark McGrath, Vivica A. Fox, Kelly Osbourne, Andy Dick, Judah Friedlander, and Judd Hirsch. I really hope Andy Dick is playing Andy Dick, if you know what I mean. [Deadline]

... Jeffrey Dean Morgan (SupernaturalGrey's Anatomy) will guest-star in the season finale of Showtime's Shameless. He'll play Charlie, Fiona's boss at her new job at a diner. [EW]

... Grimm has booked C. Thomas Howell (Southland) to play the role of FBI agent Weston Steward in Episode 18. He'll become very important to Alexis Denisof's Prince Vikton when he needs some "issues" taken care of rather quickly. [TV Guide]

... Oscar Nuñez (The Office) has joined the cast of Benched, USA's new comedy series starring Eliza Coupe, a corporate attorney-turned-public defender. Nuñez will play another public defender and a co-worker of Coupe's. [Deadline]

... Juliette Lewis has joined the cast of Secrets & Lies, which has a 10-episode commitment at ABC. There's no word yet on what the part entails, but the show is an adaptation of the Australian mystery series of the same name, and follows the prime suspect in the murder of a young boy. Ryan Phillippe and Natalie Martinez are also set to star. [EW]


... It's another sad day in the entertainment world; comedian and actor Sid Caesar has passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 91. Finding fame through Your Show of Shows when it debuted on NBC in 1950, Caesar was an accomplished comedian and went on to appear in several films, including It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Airport 1975, and Grease. [CNN]

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  • galpkak Feb 24, 2014

    So i've just watched episode two where the site appears in the end and %#!(%! appears in the beginning ;) im really frustrated about this whole episode... how can things like this happen im going back to game of thrones!

  • DirgeNovak Feb 24, 2014

    Isn't calling Fincher "the House of Cards director" pushing it a bit? He directed ONE episode.

  • hoytfamayl Feb 17, 2014

    Don't do it HBO, you can't, there is just no way you can. Utopia is special, deep genius, you can't remake it. Force your audience to watch the UK version and use your money for making something else instead of wasting time. Again: DONT do it. Or I'll send Arby after you.

  • Bottron Feb 14, 2014

    Why does HBO keep teasing that they're going to the destroy the things I love. First "Monster" now "Utopia". These things are good enough that they don't need Americans redoing them! It doesn't bother me that Wilson Wilson or Jessica Hyde have British accents. If anything it makes it cooler. The main thing is that "Utopia" ENDS. THERE ARE ONLY SIX EPISODES, and those six episodes tell the story perfectly, I don't see it being imporved upon.

  • Gislef Feb 13, 2014

    From Utopia:

    "I'm going to run chilis into your eyes. Then sand. Then bleach. Then I'm going to use the spoon. Do you know what I do with the spoon?"

  • sroberts461 Feb 13, 2014

    I largely enjoyed Utopia, its one of the better quirky and offbeat drama's coming from Channel 4. If it's done as well as the Being Human remake and they stick to the same story, it should be good.

  • tnetennba Feb 13, 2014

    There's a person named "Not Sugar Ray Mark McGrath"?

  • tnetennba Feb 13, 2014

    I didn't like Utopia. It was a somewhat interesting idea, but it was poorly carried out. The characters and the acting weren't that great, and the details of the story weren't that impressive either. I hardly remember any of them. (I think I would have if they had been good). So I think the best way to make this good is to change it a lot from the original.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Feb 13, 2014

    I rather liked the original quite well, but I didn't like it so much that I wouldn't love to see a budget thrown behind it, with a great director and some awesome acting talent. Just because you love a book doesn't mean you can't buy a nicer, sturdier copy of it!

  • sroberts461 Feb 13, 2014

    I agree. The trouble with a lot of British drama that I find off-putting, is the low budget, impoverished feeling. Or perhaps its just that the scenery/environment is miserable. Whatever it is, its one of the reasons I preferred the US remake of Being Human and the main reason I'm interested in seeing a US version of Utopia.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Feb 14, 2014

    I honestly think if the US version of Being Human could have gotten Aidan Turner from the UK that nobody would have had any reasonable complaints about the series. Especially having seen the god-awful abomination the UK series became after he left...

  • Spoontown Feb 13, 2014

    You kinda summed up what Utopia was, but not really. You didn't use the words conspiracy theory, creepy, unsettling or purposely vague, parts were interesting but much was odd, I had friends who thought it was one of the best UK dramas in years, me not so much although it was worth watching. I have this idea of how it would be done for an American audience who are already over the top when it comes to conspiracy theories and I don't hold out a lot of hope, something about it was uniquely British.

  • Sanity_Bleeds Feb 13, 2014

    Such is often the case with most British shows. Sure, that seems obvious since they're set in Britain, but much of their sensibilities, planning and reactions are all very British and thus, often very foreign to those of us outside of Britain.

  • tv_gonzo Feb 13, 2014

    I still have nightmares from this show.

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