Panic on pandemic planet: Gillian Flynn on her reboot of cult TV thriller UtopiaSeptember 26, 2020
The Gone Girl author has given the Channel 4 series a gritty and timely revamp. We visit its set in Chicago to talk conspiracy theories, viruses and vaccines with Flynn and the show’s leading man John Cusack
On the outskirts of Chicago, on the ground floor of an old hotel made up to look like it’s hosting a comic-book convention, there are 50 people milling about, variously disguised as wizards, rabbits, space pirates and superheroes. You won’t find any Captain Americas or Wonder Women here, though. Instead, you’ll have to make do with the likes of my favourite new do-gooder, Antler Man, a guy whose superpower seems to be turning into a huge moose.
It’s September 2019, the sun is shining and, as the cameras roll, no one in the cast or crew of Utopia has the slightest inkling that they’re making what will turn out to be 2020’s most timely show. The scene they’re filming today is a crucial one. It’s the first time our heroes, a motley crew of nerds and misfits, meet each other in their quest to track down Utopia, a legendary comic book said to have foretold many of the most devastating viruses ever to sweep Earth. The book is believed to contain further prophecies.