Channel 4 commissions Ben Wheatley’s hilarious & unsettling satire Generation Z

Category: News Release

A brand new 6-part series written and directed by Ben Wheatley, Generation Z sees rapacious baby boomers and disaffected teenagers at each other’s throats…this time quite literally.

First they ate your dreams of a brighter future, now they want to eat you…

In Generation Z, Ben Wheatley brings his trademark pitch-black humour and biting satire to Channel 4. Produced by The Forge, this 6 X 60’ comedy drama is a timely, startling and thrillingly outrageous ride through a green and pleasant land rent by division, disappointment and…death.

The future looks bleak for today’s youth – seemingly-endless austerity, astronomical house prices, insurmountable student debt, a political system which appears intent on destroying itself… And to add insult to injury, their hard-earned taxes are being eaten up by the old - smug, self-satisfied, small-minded, “Little Englander” pensioners whose remaining sole purpose in life is to make it a misery for everyone else.

In a small British town, tensions come to a head when a mysterious military convoy crashes outside the Sunnywise Retirement Home. The vehicles were carrying a toxic substance, which, as a result of the crash, leaks into the local environment and infects the residents of the retirement community. The symptoms of this infection quickly manifest – an overwhelming appetite for raw flesh. They’re old, they’re angry and they’re on the rampage. As the military scrambles to control the outbreak and keep everything out of the media spotlight, a group of regular teenagers find themselves in the thick of the battle against these flesh-eating baby boomers.

Generation Z follows a group of wide-eyed teenagers caught up in a future far more grotesque and terrifying than anything they could have expected. They wanted to make a difference, this is their chance! But it’s going to take more than a pithy meme on social media…this is a bloody and messy battle royale!

Tapping directly into the myriad fears which define the experience of today’s youth and bringing viscerally to life the increasingly stark divisions between generations, Ben Wheatley’s Generation Z is a compelling, macabre, timely, outrageous, and scabrous satire presenting a modern Britain at war with itself.

Ben Wheatley says: “I’m excited to be working with Channel 4 and The Forge. Generation Z is my first original created tv project and I couldn’t think of better partners.”

Caroline Hollick, Head of Drama at Channel 4, says: “Ben is a unique creative force, and I’m delighted that he’s bringing this hilarious, frightening and political horror series to Channel 4. I can’t wait to see him transform the zombie genre into something both outrageous and cannily perceptive.”

George Faber, Executive Producer, says: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with the hugely talented Ben Wheatley on his epic comic horror series and very much look forward to discovering how Generation Z will fight the plague of Baby Boomer zombies who are after their young flesh.”

Generation Z is produced by The Forge for Channel 4 and has been commissioned by Channel 4’s Head of Drama Caroline Hollick and Commissioning Editor Lee Mason. The 6 X 60’ series will go into production in 2020 and will be Executive Produced by Ben Wheatley, Mark Pybus and George Faber. It is written and directed by Ben Wheatley.  

All3media International will handle global sales.


Notes to editors:

About Ben Wheatley

Ben Wheatley is an award-winning writer and director for both film and television whose work has been celebrated internationally. His television career began directing series of Channel 4 comedy Modern Toss and BBC3 comedy Ideal. In 2008 he created and directed comedy sketch show The Wrong Door for BBC3, winning a BAFTA Craft award for Visual Effects. More recently he has directed episodes of Doctor Who as well as thriller Strange Angel for CBS. 

In 2009 Ben directed his first feature film, Down Terrace, co-written with long-time collaborator Amy Jump. The film won numerous awards, including Best UK Feature at Raindance. He gained further acclaim for cult horror Kill List in 2011, starring Neil Maskell, and black comedy Sightseers, written by and Starring Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, which featured at the Cannes 2012 Directors Fortnight and won best director at the Evening Standard film awards. His fourth film, A Field in England, was followed by an adaptation of the novel by J.G. Ballard High Rise in 2016, and in the same year comedy thriller Free Fire, starring Cillian Murphy and Armie Hammer.

In 2018 Ben directed Happy New Year, Colin Burstead, a contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus starring Neil Maskell, which screened on BBC2. His latest film, an adaptation of Daphne Du Maurier’s gothic romance Rebecca, starring Lilly James and Armie Hammer, is to be released on Netflix in 2020.

About The Forge

The Forge’s production credits include Bafta-winning National Treasure (C4/Hulu) and RTS-nominated Kiri (C4/Hulu), both written by Jack Thorne and his forthcoming drama The Light (w/t); RTS-nominated series Ackley Bridge (C4); Peter Moffat’s The Last Post (BBC1/Amazon) (co-produced with Bonafide Films); John Brownlow’s adaptation of Jessie Burton’s The Miniaturist (BBC1/WGBH); David Hare’s Collateral (BBC2/Netflix) and Dark Money (BBC1) by Levi David Addai (BBC1).