It’s been known for quite some time that directorial auteur of intrigue, David Fincher has been planning to adapt the hit U.K. television series, Utopia for HBO. Recently, we learned Fincher could be reuniting with Rooney Mara, the actress he radically transformed in 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
According to film reporter, Jeff Sneider, Mara is said to be in talks to star in the David Fincher-adapted Utopia project. While that was the extent of the details, the qualification of her role as “star” seems to indicate that she would be playing the show’s lead character, Jessica Hyde, a reclusive but determined woman perpetually pursued by a powerful group after stumbling onto some profoundly bizarre secrets.
However, should Mara’s negotiations prove fruitful, then she would likely headline what could potentially be a large cast of eccentric characters. Utopia, which has, thus far, aired two seasons in the UK on Channel 4, is an ensemble series showcasing a group of misfits who manage to get their hands on the manuscript for an unreleased sequel to an underground graphic novel called “The Utopia Experiments” that has proven to be profoundly prophetic in its predictions of 20th century disasters. Since the manuscript is the key to discerning and preventing disasters yet to come, Jessica and the group eventually find themselves the target of a clandestine cabal looking to silence them known as The Network.
Should Mara jump on board to headline this project, reigniting the collaboration with Fincher, we could be in for a treat. Presumably operating as part of an ensemble, this could be an opportunity for Mara to shape a memorably powerful protagonist on an HBO television platform providing both the creative freedom and time to properly gestate a character. This is especially true seeing as the critically-hailed, but financially underwhelming status of Dragon Tattoo has left her prospective return as Lisbeth in The Girl Who Played With Fire up in the air.
Should the HBO project follow the original closely enough, then it will be a brooding drama full of mystery and semi-topical science-fiction/conspiracy elements that, like all the great shows, builds its structure on the slow-burn, swerve-heavy unravelling of its shapeless secrets. With David Fincher’s plate pretty much empty after his other upcoming HBO comedy project, Video Synchonicity had its production halted, the attention of his talents, especially coming off last year’s jaw-dropping cinematic success of Gone Girl, may be focused on Utopia, should it move forward. Adding to earlier reports, Fincher is collaborating with his Gone Girl screenwriter Gillian Flynn for the adaptation. Those unfamiliar with the original may want to check out the trailer for its launch in the video below.
Rooney Mara’s potential involvement in the HBO Utopia project has not yet been confirmed by the actress or network. With her dramatic dance card relatively full with roles in several major upcoming film projects such as Collateral Beauty, Pan and Lion, scheduling logistics could very well prevent this from happening. However, at the moment, no plans have been set in stone for Utopia and it's possible that the gig might work out.