Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Amazon gives up on Utopia

Illustration for article titled Amazon gives up on Utopia
Photo: Elizabeth Morris/Amazon Prime Video

Freeing us—hopefully forever—from having to think the ready-for-Newspeak phrase “Amazon’s Utopia” ever again, the streaming and retail giant has announced that it won’t be moving forward on a second season of the Gillian Flynn-penned sci-fi series. As THR notes, this particular cancellation comes after the series spent six long years in development ahead of its release back in September, which gives its 8 extant episodes a time-per-hour-of-TV-produced metric that’s practically at, like, The Venture Bros. levels of slowness.


Starring John Cusack, Rainn Wilson, and Ashleigh LaThrop, Utopia was based on a two-season British series of the same name—notable for, among other things, featuring an opening scene that set its disturbing, violent tone with a speed rarely matched. Both shows, meanwhile, centered on conspiracy theories surrounding a mysterious comic book that may or may not predict a series of future disasters, and the search for a mysterious young woman named Jessica Hyde who might be key to unraveling their myseries.

We weren’t especially big fans of the Amazon Utopia, though, which started life at HBO as what must have seemed like a slam-dunk hit: Flynn, hot off Gone Girl (and with that film’s director, David Fincher, also attached to the project, before he bailed to go hunt minds), tackling a cult British show with lots of pleasantly nasty violence and intriguing twists. Ultimately, though, its story of pandemics and betrayals somehow failed to resonate—despite all—and so it’ll be forced into the dusty comic book longboxes of history, one more failed Utopia on the pile.