Amazon thriller ‘Panic’ puts teens in dangerous competition

Don’t panic.

Amazon’s new thriller “Panic” follows teenagers within the small metropolis of Carp, Texas, who endure an unusual and harmful sequence of challenges — competing for a jackpot $50,000 prize that may be their ticket out of their dead-end atmosphere. 

The sequence was created by Lauren Oliver and depends on her novel of the equivalent title.

“I like ‘Friday Evening Lights.’ I hate to reference different issues, it feels like I’m evaluating myself to them which is impolite, however ‘Friday Evening Lights’ was an enormous benchmark for us,” she acknowledged. “That was an attention-grabbing model in phrases of an precise evocation of a spot and centering it spherical — in that case — a literal recreation. But it surely’s really regarding the people and relationships. So I’ve on a regular basis held that up as like a gold customary of TV.

” ‘Panic’ is regarding the recreation, nevertheless it’s moreover regarding the characters.”

Heather Nill (Olivia Welch), left and her sister Lily (Karina Karhu), right in
Heather Nill (Olivia Welch), left, and her sister Lily (Karina Karhu) in “Panic.”
Matt Lankes/Amazon Studios

Premiering Friday (Might 28), “Panic” services spherical Heather Nill (Olivia Welch), who sees the “Concern Issue”-type recreation as her solely option to get her family out of a dire financial hole. She’s competing in the direction of her buddy Natalie Williams (Jessica Sula), enigmatic new man Dodge Mason (Mike Faist) and wildcard Ray Corridor (Ray Nicholson) — while her buddy Bishop Mason (Camron Jones) warns her to not engage within the sport and the town’s laws enforcement seeks to complete the harmful competitors. 

Oliver’s novel “Earlier than I Fall” was tailor-made to the large show in 2017, nevertheless “Panic” is her first time writing and making a TV sequence.

Lauren Oliver
Lauren Oliver, bestselling creator and creator of “Panic.”
Getty Photographs for Amazon Studios

“Since 2014, I’ve at all times been concerned in or engaged on some iteration of it,” she acknowledged. “So, hopefully that’s kind of a message. We really love tales of in a single day success on this nation, nevertheless it’s 2021 and I initially supplied the book rights for the film in 2014. Then there was a film adaptation that any person had achieved, after which it took a variety of years and the studio wasn’t a fan of it….’Panic’ really to me had on a regular basis belonged to TV. As a result of even as soon as I used to be writing the book, I didn’t have space for all the points I wanted to find.

Heather (Olivia Welch) during a dangerous competition in
Heather (Olivia Welch) all through a harmful competitors in “Panic.”
Matt Lankes/Amazon Studios

“It was a protracted journey however I’m blissful. I ended up at Amazon they usually have been making it a precedence to open up their reveals for youthful folks and completely different audiences. I can’t consider one other studio that might put a TV present within the arms of a creator and a author who had by no means had a single writing credit score for TV or movie.”

Ray Hall (Ray Nicholson, center) and other teens play a dangerous competition in
Ray Corridor (Ray Nicholson, coronary heart) and completely different teenagers play a harmful competitors in “Panic.”
Matt Lankes/Amazon Studios

Not like her characters, Oliver grew up in shut by Westchester County — a far cry from the current’s Texas setting. 

“I began writing the guide in Oregon, then I moved again to New York and was spending numerous time upstate,” she acknowledged. “We filmed an distinctive pilot in New York. ‘Panic ‘is shot somewhat quite a bit exterior at night time time. And we obtained like 4 tornadoes, an ice storm … it was like we had been cursed by a foul witch. So resulting from that, for manufacturing causes we had been going to maneuver to Texas.

“As soon as we have been transferring it, I didn’t need to simply fake it was anyplace. It’s a city that’s very very similar to lots of the cities in America that we simply don’t see that usually on TV,” she acknowledged. “I feel the extra particular you’re, the extra actual one thing feels and mockingly is extra common, in some way.”

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