The Grosse Pointe Blank, Say Anything and High Fidelity star has fielded numerous offers for cable and broadcast series over the past few years; he also executive produced and had a cameo in a 2014 CBS Wall Street drama that didn’t go to series. Utopia, however, will be his first full-time commitment to a series.
The nine-episode, straight-to-series project from Sharp Objects and Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn is a remake of a British show from writer Dennis Kelly that aired in 2013-14. It follows a group of young adults who, per Amazon’s logline, “meet online and are mercilessly hunted by a shadowy deep state organization after they come into possession of a near mythical cult underground graphic novel. They discover the conspiracy theories in the comic’s pages may actually be real and are forced into the dangerous, unique and ironic position of saving the world.”
Cusack will play Dr. Kevin Christie. Charismatic and media-savvy, he has a brilliant biotech mind and a philanthropic outlook. Christie altruistically wants to change the world through science.
The actor joins a cast that also includes Sasha Lane, Rainn Wilson, Ashleigh LaThrop, Desmin Borges, Farrah Mackenzie and Christopher Denham.
Flynn will serve as showrunner for Utopia and executive produce with Jessica Rhoades (Sharp Objects), Sharon Hall, Karen Wilson and Dennis Kelly. The series is a co-production of Endemol Shine North America, its U.K. production studio Kudos and Amazon Studios; Endemol Shine’s Sharon Levy will oversee production.
Cusack’s recent credits include the modern Western Never Grow Old, the mystery River Runs Red and Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq. He is repped by ICM and Ziffren Brittenham.
Cusack is the latest big name to make the jump to TV, joining the likes of Meryl Streep (HBO’s Big Little Lies), Al Pacino (Amazon’s The Hunt), Dennis Quaid (Netflix comedy Merry Happy Whatever) and Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin (Netflix’s The Kominsky Method), among others.