FX Greenlights ‘Never Let Me Go’ Series for Hulu

The FX on Hulu series is based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s classic 2005 sci-fi novel.
NEVER LET ME GO, from left: Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley, 2010. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved./courtesy Everett Collection
"Never Let Me Go" was last adapted as a 2010 film.
©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Kazuo Ishiguro’s sci-fi tearjerker “Never Let Me Go” is heading to the small screen. FX has officially ordered an adaptation of Ishiguro’s novel, set to air exclusively on Hulu.

Published in 2005, “Never Let Me Go” is one of Ishiguro’s — a Nobel Prize-winning author also known for “The Remains of the Day” — most popular and critically acclaimed novels. Set in Britain during the ’90s, the book focuses on three childhood friends: Kathy, Tommy, and Ruth. Raised at the mysterious Hailsham boarding school, the three are clones created for the purpose of growing up healthy and donating their organs to science. Resigned to their fates, the three grow up close, but interpersonal conflicts between them lead to mistakes that haunt them for the rest of their short lives.

The novel was previously adapted into a 2010 film directed by Mark Romanek, with a screenplay by Alex Garland; Carey Mulligan, Kiera Knightley, and Andrew Garfield starred as the main trio. Garland serves as an executive producer on the new series, which has the same setup but seemingly focuses on a completely different set of characters in a completely different type of story — whereas the original book was a slow-paced romantic tragedy, FX describes the show as a thriller.

Viola Prettejohn leads the show as Thora, a teenage clone who escapes her boarding school. Once in the outside world, she sets in motion events that will spark a revolution from the oppressed clones. The cast will also include Tracey Ullman, Kelly Macdonald, Aiysha Hart, Spike Fearn, Shaniqua Okwok, Gary Beadle, Kwami Odoom, Susan Brown, Keira Chanse, and Edward Holcroft.

The pilot for “Never Let Me Go” was written by Melissa Iqbal, who also showruns, and directed by Marc Munden. Both executive produce with Ishiguro, Garland, and DNA Productions’ Andrew Macdonald, Allon Reich, and Maria Fleischer. DNA previously worked with Garland, best known for his feature films “Ex-Machina” and this year’s “Men,” on his 2020 FX on Hulu miniseries “Devs.” FX Productions and Searchlight Television also produce.

“Never Let Me Go is a modern science fiction classic that Melissa Iqbal and the creative team have brilliantly adapted for FX as a drama exploring timely and unsettling themes on life and the ethics of technology,” said FX Entertainment president Gina Balian.

Ishiguro’s most recent novel, “Klara and the Sun,” was published last year to critical acclaim. The author also penned the screenplay for this year’s “Living,” an adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s “Ikiru” starring Bill Nighy.

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