Friends, once upon a time there was a clear delineation between the revered movie stars and the lowly television stars. I can remember back when a big deal was made when the cast of Friends booked their first movie roles after the success of the first season, and much fanfare (and derision) was made, specifically, about Matt LeBlanc’s choice of Ed (lest you forget it was about a monkey who plays baseball and all I can say in retrospect: f*ck yeah, why did we make so much fun of that movie?!) I dragged my older brother to The Pallbearer, David Schwimmer’s pick, and almost 25 years later, he still won’t let me forget how bad that movie is. The point is that there was a time when not just anybody could be a movie star — and it didn’t matter how much success you had on the small screen, you weren’t big time until you could open a movie. Conversely, TV was where movie stars went to die, and you’d never catch a big name on TV unless their career had stalled. Really stalled.
John Cusack has been a movie star for almost 40 years. His first role was in 1983 with Class, and up until 2013, his only foray into episodic television was as a caller to Frasier’s talk show (his face was unseen) in Fraiser. Cusack has never done TV … until now.
Clearly, times have changed, and movies no longer rank supreme.
In “Utopia,” a group of young adults who meet online 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.
…and just who will Cusack play? I’m glad you asked, I’ll let Variety explain again, because it’s late in the day and I’m kind of hungry:
Cusack will play Christie, a charismatic, media-savvy and brilliant biotech mind who wants to change the world through science. He is the latest addition to the cast, after Rainn Wilson joined the project to play Michael Stearns, and Sasha Lane is set to portray Jessica Hyde.
If this sounds familiar, it should, but only if you’re savvy about British television that’s not The Bodyguard or Doctor Who because it definitely was a series in the UK, but because Americans can’t understand other forms of English, apparently, it’s being remade over here. The original showrunner, Dennis Kelly, has signed on to executive produce Amazon’s version, along with Gillian Flynn, she of Gone Girl fame. Flynn will also serve as showrunner. Look, I don’t know Gillian Flynn personally, but I know she was about 18 when Say Anything came out, so I can pretty much all but guarantee you that she’s secretly dying inside that she gets to work with the man with the boombox himself. I don’t blame her.
I don’t know when this show will premiere (I mean, I looked and I couldn’t find any details, so it’s not like I didn’t try to get this intel for you) but I know old habits die hard, so I’ll most definitely be watching, if only to crush on my practically life-long boyfriend once more.
If you need a Cusack fix ASAP, go read Petr’s 20th-anniversary tribute post to Grosse Pointe Blank, which is basically one of my favorite things Pajiba has ever posted.
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