Cary Fukunaga, Eric Roth to Adapt 'The Alienist' for Paramount TV

The project reteams Fukunaga and Anonymous Content, who partnered on HBO's 'True Detective.'
Cary Fukunaga

Cary Fukunaga has found his TV follow-up.

The Emmy-winning director of True Detective will executive produce and helm The Alienist, a drama inspired by the best-selling novel by Caleb Carr. He'll be joined by Oscar winner Eric Roth, who will executive produce along with Academy Award nominee Hossein Amini, who penned the pilot and will EP via Paramount Television and Anonymous Content.

Set in the tenements and mansions of Gilded Age New York City, Carr's 1994 novel tells the story of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, who, with the help of newspaper reporter John Moore and police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, uses the emerging discipline of psychology to track down one of New York City's first serial killers.

"The Alienist is a fascinating and distinctive, fast-paced psychological thriller that is wonderfully evocative of the unrivaled Gilded Age of New York City," said Paramount Television president Amy Powell in a statement announcing the news Tuesday, adding: "Cary Fukunaga's unique vision and ability to render compelling, distinctive and superbly atmospheric direction is the perfect voice for this television series. We are thrilled to have not only Cary’s expert direction, but also the creativity, imagination and storytelling abilities of the supremely talented Eric Roth and Hossein Amini.”

The project is a product of the three-year, first-look production deal that Paramount TV and Anonymous Content inked in 2014. The Alienist marks their first collaboration.

Added Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin, who will also serve as executive producers on the project: “We are thrilled that Paramount has entrusted us and our brilliant creative dream team — Eric Roth, Hossein Amini and Cary Fukunaga — to bring this much beloved, best-selling novel to the screen. The multi-episodic format will enable us to do justice to the complexity of Caleb Carr’s storytelling and his vivid and detailed portrait of late 19th century New York in all its splendor and grittiness.”

Anonymous and Fukunaga had considerable success on their first TV foray, HBO's True Detective, of which Fukunaga directed every episode. He will not be part of the show's second season, for which creator Nic Pizzolatto has hired multiple directors. More recently, his African drama Beasts of No Nation was acquired by Netflix has part of the streaming service's sizable film push.

Roth, too, has spent much of his career in the film world, where his vast body of acclaimed work includes Forrest Gump, The Insider, Munich and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. For his part, Amini wrote the adapted screenplay for 1997's The Wings of the Dove, which was based on the novel by Henry James, and has earned accolades for Drive.

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