There was no last-minute miracle for Utopia. I hear HBO and David Fincher were not able to reach a compromise on the size of the budget for the conspiracy thriller series. As a result, the cast of the project has been officially released by HBO. While never confirmed, I hear it included Rooney Mara, Colm Feore, Eric McCormack, Dallas Roberts, Jason Ritter, Brandon Scott and Agyness Deyn. I hear they had been rehearsing for up to a month with Fincher and writer Gillian Flynn while budget negotiations were unraveling.
HBO has the rights to Utopia, an adaptation of the British series, so Fincher cannot take the project elsewhere, like his House of Cards home Netflix. I hear HBO brass continue to be high on the project and may try continuing it with a new director. While the pay cable network also is said to be high on the cast, the actors have been released so a potential new director could make decisions but the current cast members will likely be choices if they are available.
I hear Fincher reached out to some of the actors a week ago to tell them that Utopia was over though official release by the network did not happen until late this week. It is unclear how the fallout with HBO on Utopia would affect Fincher’s other HBO project, 1980s comedy Videosynchrazy, whose production was halted for additional script work.
Utopia revolves around the die-hard fans of an iconic, underground graphic novel who are suddenly launched into their own pop-culture thriller when they learn that the author has secretly written a sequel.