In the end, Amazon’s Utopia had a much longer and somewhat more dramatic journey to the screen than it did on it. The fantasy drama about comic book fans stumbling into a world-altering pandemic was originally an HBO project that finally hit streaming in 2020 on Amazon, but it won’t go past a single season.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Utopia was officially canceled at Amazon after mixed reviews and uncertain streaming totals. The show, which was picked up by HBO in 2014, actually had a six-year journey to screen that saw Gillian Flynn lead the show at Amazon.
Originally developed and picked up straight to series in 2014 at HBO with David Fincher reuniting with his Gone Girl collaborator Flynn, the drama about a group of comic book fans who stumble on a deadly pandemic landed at Amazon four years later. Flynn had an overall deal with HBO and moved it to Amazon along with Utopia, though Fincher was no longer attached.
Amazon, like other streamers, does not release traditional viewership data. The drama was not met with warm reviews when it launched Sept. 25. The series has a 51 percent rating among critics on RottenTomatoes.com and, perhaps in a sign of a failure to cut through, does not have an audience score. In her review, THR TV critic Inkoo Kang called Utopia “Too hackneyed to be timely, too grim to be escapist.”
The project marked the first time Flynn, who wrote the novel Gone Girl and helped Fincher make it a movie, served as a TV showrunner. As THR noted, the show was an admittedly tough watch in a reality that has a much more realistic pandemic actually taking place. And despite the star-studded cast that included Rainn Wilson and John Cusack, all American viewers will apparently get is its initial nine episode first season.