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Why Armando Iannucci Didn’t Go ‘Mega-Futuristic’ With New HBO Series ‘Avenue 5’

TCA 2020: ”The only major advance has been that we can fly further in space and hopefully get back,“ creator says

Armando Iannucci’s futuristic space comedy “Avenue 5” won’t be that futuristic, even if it does take place on a flying spaceship.

“It is set only about 30-40 years in the future. I wanted to deliberately not be too futuristic. If you think about what life is like 40 years ago in 1980, it’s not rampantly different. All the buildings look the same, the cars are roughly doing the same thing,” Iannucci said on Wednesday during the Television Critics Association press tour. “The only innovation has been the WiFi and the fact that we stare at our phones. So I didn’t want to go mega-futuristic with lots of gadgets and robots and flying cars.”

The “Veep” creator continued that in the world of the show, the Avenue 5 spaceship is the only major futuristic part of the series. “The only major advance has been that we can fly further in space and hopefully get back.”

“Avenue 5” stars Hugh Laurie as Ryan Clark, the confident and suave captain of a space cruise ship that has luxury amenities like gourmet buffets, a spa, an observation deck and yoga classes. But since its an Iannucci comedy, things predictably go awry. Avenue 5’s eight-week journey around Saturn is interrupted when the ship suddenly encounters technical difficulties, and it’s up to Ryan and his crew to calm the disgruntled passengers and find a way to deal with unexpected events onboard – though they may or may not be equipped for the task.

Josh Gad, who plays Herman Judd the billionaire who owns the company that runs the ship, teased a dark fate for many of the passengers on the ship.

“We like to think ourselves as the ‘Game of Thrones’ of comedies,” he said. “There’s quite a big body count. Just you wait.”

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