Amazon is hoping that Rainn Wilson is a good-luck charm when it comes to American remakes of hit British TV shows, as The Office alum has joined the cast of its drama series Utopia alongside Sasha Lane (American Honey), Collider has learned.
Based on the British series of the same name, Utopia follows a group of young adults who meet online to discuss an underground graphic novel that appears to depict real conspiracy theories. This puts them in position to save the world — and in grave danger.
Wilson will play Michael Stearns, a once-promising virologist who has lost his edge and is now a forgotten scientist — under-appreciated and underfunded in his laboratory work. When a nationwide outbreak of a deadly flu arises, Michael offers his expertise, and soon finds himself in the middle of something much bigger.
Utopia hails from Gone Girl scribe Gillian Flynn, who will serve as showrunner. She’ll also executive produce alongside original Utopia creator Dennis Kelly, whose series became a cult hit over the course of two six-episode seasons between 2013 and 2014. Amazon has ordered a nine-episode first season of Utopia, which is a co-production between Endemol Shine North America, Kudos, and Amazon Studios. Executive producers also include Sharon Hall, Karen Wilson, Diederick Santer and Jessica Rhoades, the latter of whom worked with Flynn on HBO’s limited series Sharp Objects. Sharon Levy will oversee production for Endemol Shine.
The American remake of Utopia started life at HBO with David Fincher set to direct and executive produce and Rooney Mara set to star, though ultimately, Fincher and HBO didn’t see eye to eye on the budget and both parties walked away from the project.
Wilson recently starred in the global blockbuster The Meg and will soon be seen alongside Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon in the indie movie Blackbird. He also has a recurring role on Chuck Lorre‘s CBS comedy Mom and he’ll be seen in the series finale of Amazon’s flagship series Transparent. Wilson will also play the iconic role of con man Harry Mudd in the new Star Trek series on CBS All Access. In addition to The Office, Wilson’s TV credits include Cameron Crowe‘s Showtime series Roadies, HBO’s Room 104, and Six Feet Under, for which he won a SAG Award. Wilson recently wrapped the indie movie Don’t Tell a Soul, and he’s also the founder of the YouTube channel Soul Pancake, which has over 2.6 million subscribers. He’s represented by UTA and Odenkirk Provissiero Entertainment.