The television adaptation of Aldous Huxley’s classic novel “Brave New World” added a name to the cast list this week. Initially planned for the SYFY network before moving to the USA Network, the show might end up on NBC‘s upcoming streaming platform. The series imagines a utopian society that has achieved peace and stability through the prohibition of monogamy, privacy, money, family, and history itself. The book is a classic tale of behavioral sciences and conditioning, and an all-time personal favorite of mine. This week, Amblin Television confirmed that former “Downton Abbey” star Jessica Brown Findlay joined the cast, which is not yet complete at this time.
According to the announcement, Jessica Brown Findlay will play Lenina Crowne, a Beta Plus Hatchery worker, who has begun to question her position within the strict social strata of the New World.
Brown Findlay is a star of stage and screen, and where you recognize her from depends on your favorite medium. She currently stars in the Hulu series “Harlots” opposite Samantha Morton. You might recognize her from her role as Lady Sybil in the award-winning international hit series “Downton Abbey.” Her early credits include a lead role in the first season of Netflix’s “Black Mirror,” opposite Daniel Kaluuya, and the limited series “The Outcast.” In film, Brown Findlay starred opposite James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe in “Victor Frankenstein” and in the romantic-drama “Winter’s Tale” opposite Colin Farrell. She was also seen as the lead role in Simon Aboud’s “This Beautiful Fantastic” with Tom Wilkinson and Andrew Scott. Most recently, she starred in director Mike Newell’s “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.” If you prefer the theater, you may have seen her in last year’s “Hamlet” at the Harold Pinter Theater in London on the West End. Later she reteamed with Icke for a reinvention of the play “Oresteia” at the Almeida Theater on the West End.
If you have never read “Brave New World,” you have time to fix that error in judgment before the show premieres. You can find the sci-fi best seller right here on Amazon.
The story picks up in New London, where Bernard Marx and Lenina Crowne have only ever known a rigid social order, a perfect pharmaceutical called Soma, and a culture of instant gratification and ubiquitous sex. Curious to explore life beyond the strictures of their society, the two New Worlders embark on a vacation to the Savage Lands, where they become embroiled in a harrowing and violent rebellion. Bernard and Lenina are rescued by John the Savage, who escapes with them back to New London. John’s arrival in the New World soon threatens to disrupt its utopian harmony, leaving Bernard and Lenina to grapple with the repercussions. The three become entwined in a fraught relationship that awakens them to the dangers of their own conditioning.
The series was adapted for television by David Wiener (Homecoming, The Killing, Flesh and Bone,), with Grant Morrison (SYFY’s Happy!) and Brian Taylor (Happy!, Crank).
Wiener and Morrison along with Darryl Frank (The Americans) and Justin Falvey (The Americans), co-presidents of Amblin Television, will executive produce. Wiener will also serve as series showrunner. Owen Harris (Black Mirror: San Junipero) will direct the first episode and executive produce the series.
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