Kaos: Netflix’s British Twist on Greek Myths Should Be On Your Radar

Greek myths are cool, Jeff Goldblum is even cooler. Netflix is already onto a winner with Kaos – here’s everything we know so far about the new drama

Jeff Goldblum at the 2020 Vanity Fair Oscar Party
Photo: Credit: Toni Anne Barson/WireImage via Getty

Kaos has been a long-time coming. Netflix first announced it had commissioned this British dark comedy reimagining Greek mythology back in 2018, but the pandemic meant that filming only started last year, and there’s already been one major cast replacement.

And even though we’re no closer to an official release date, the impressive cast list, unique premise and solid production team make Kaos well worthy of your attention.

‘Nothing Is Sacred’ in This Bold Take On Greek Myth

Set over eight one-hour episodes, Kaos is a contemporary reimagining of Greek Mythology exploring themes of gender politics, power, and life in the underworld. The official synopsis describes how six humans will discover they’re part of an ancient prophecy:

“Zeus has a wrinkle. He’s worried it might mean the end of the world and it might. Because on Earth, six humans unaware of their importance or their connection to each other learn that they are component parts of an ancient prophecy. Will they discover the truth about the gods, and what they’re doing to humans? And, if they do, will they be able to stop them?”

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Deadline reported further plot details, explaining that Zeus becomes deeply paranoid about his own downfall, causing trouble for Hera, Queen of the Gods, on Earth, and leaving his rebellious son Dionysus free to cause havoc. 

Elsewhere, Hades is losing his grip on the Underworld, and Poseidon – God of the Sea – is more concerned with partying. While the gods are distracted, people on earth are demanding change, and a group of mortals from different walks of life discover they might be destined to bring down Zeus.

Created By The End of the F***ing World’s Charlie Covell

Covell wrote the critically acclaimed dark comedy drama The End of the F***ing World – an adaptation of Charles Forsman’s comics of the same name – for Channel 4 back in 2017. The series follows teenager James, who believes he’s a psychopath and runs away with his classmate Alyssa with the intention of killing her.

Not only did the series win a Bafta for Best Drama in 2020, Covell won the Outstanding Newcomer award at the 2018 British Screenwriters Awards.

Covell has also worked with Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies on his interconnected comedy drama series Banana and Cucumber, as both a writer and actor.

As well as Covell, the impressive Kaos production team includes director Georgi Banks-Davies (I Hate Suzie), and production company Sister, who were behind Chernobyl, This Is Going To Hurt, and new Prime Video sci-fi adaptation The Power.

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The Cast Includes Jeff Goldblum as Zeus

Hugh Grant was initially cast as Zeus but pulled out due to a scheduling clash, and the show announced he was being replaced by the man, the myth, the legend-in-his-own-right that is Jeff Goldblum.

David Thewlis (Fargo) will play Hades, God of the Underworld, Ozark’s Janet McTeer will portray Hera, Queen of the Gods, and 1917’s Nabhaan Rizwan will play Zeus’ troublesome son Dionysus. Poseidon will be played by Cliff Curtis (Avatar: The Way of Water) and Younger’s Debi Mazar will play Medusa.

So far, we know who will play four of the mortals: Betters Laila Farzhad will be Ari, Aurora Perrineau (Prodigal Son) will be Riddy, Ripper Streets Killian Scott will play Orpheus and Misia Butler (The Bastard Son and The Devil Himself) will play Caneus.

Doctor Who’s Billie Piper will also play an as-yet-unconfirmed minor role.

‘Funny, Dark and Sad’ With a ‘Game of Thrones Scale’

Speaking to the Radio Times, creator Charlie Covell describes Kaos as:

“…a big show… hopefully with a kind of Game of Thrones scale – but tonally it should [feel] End of the World-y, in terms of its humour and its soundtrack and the look of it. One of the big steers for me was the Baz Luhrmann Romeo + Juliet as a look.” 

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Covell also explained:

“It’s set contemporary but Other. And it’s taking on the myths and kind of flipping them on their heads, basically. We start with Orpheus and Eurydice, the gods are like a massive dysfunctional family, it should be funny and dark and sad.”

British TV’s Last Attempt At Greek Myth Was Almost a Decade Ago

The BBC had mixed success with Greek mythology when it launched Atlantis, which had an impressive cast including Mark Addy (The Full Monty), Sarah Parrish (Cutting It) and Chernobyl’s Robert Emms.

Although when the series launched in 2013 it pulled in an impressive Saturday night audience of almost seven million, the second series did less well, and the show was cancelled in 2015.

Filming is Underway

Kaos started shooting in Spain in August 2022, and as far as we know is still in production. There’s no official Netflix release date yet, but we’ll as soon as we hear more we’ll let you know.