EXCLUSIVE: Cougar Town alum Dan Byrd and Gotham‘s Cory Michael Smith have been tapped to co-star opposite Sasha Lane in Utopia, Amazon’s adaptation of the British series, written by Gone Girl author and screenwriter Gillian Flynn.
Utopia follows a group of young adults who meet online that are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near-mythical cult underground graphic novel. Within the comic’s pages, they discover the conspiracy theories that may actually be real and are forced into the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.
Byrd will play Ian. Ian went to an online college, works in a soul-robbing job and lives in a small apartment with his grandma in Canton, Ohio. Craving a more exciting life outside his online/virtual world, he embarks on a mission to uncover the secrets of the graphic novel Utopia, which also is driven by his crush on fellow graphic novel fan Becky.
Smith will play Thomas Christie. Bright and ambitious, Thomas works under his biotech scientist father at Christie Laboratories. He becomes tasked with tracking down the only copy of the much sought after graphic novel, Utopia, for less than benevolent reasons.
In addition to Lane, Byrd and Smith join previously cast Rainn Wilson.
The Amazon adaptation is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America/Kudos and Amazon Studios. Executive producing alongside Flynn are Jessica Rhoades, Kelly, Kudos’ Karen Wilson and Diederick Santer as well as Sharon Hall. Sharon Levy, President, Unscripted & Scripted Television, Endemol Shine North America, oversees production for Endemol Shine.
Byrd, known for his supporting role opposite Emma Stone in Easy A, was recently seen in Jason Moore’s Sisters opposite Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. His notable TV credits include lead roles in series Cougar Town and Aliens in America and recurring roles on Scandal and the final season of Mad Men, among other credits. He’s repped by Gersh and Industry Entertainment.
Smith stars as Edward Nygma aka The Riddler on Fox’s Gotham. He was recently seen in two of Todd Haynes’ films: Carol, opposite Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara and Wonderstruck, opposite Julianne Moore. He’s repped by Paradigm and Circle of Confusion.