11:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Syfy Sets Leads for 'The Magicians'
Presto: Syfy has set its cast for The Magicians.
The NBCUniversal-owned cable network has tapped Aquarius' Jason Ralph and The Closer's Sosie Bacon to star in its adaptation of Lev Grossman's best-selling book series, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The Magicians, from Universal Cable Productions, centers on two 20-somethings who, while studying magic in New York, discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as kids is real and poses grave danger to humanity.
Ralph (Looking, Blue Bloods) will star in the pilot as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant, withdrawn yet strangely compelling man who feels like an outsider among his accomplished peers — including beautiful Julia (Stella Maeve), upon whom he has had a hopeless crush since childhood. Dangerously depressed and disaffected, Quentin has always been a huge fan of a series of books set in the magical land of Fillory — books that still hold immense fascination for him, even though they are intended for children.
When he's recruited as a new student at the mysterious Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, he realizes that magic is very real, and that he himself is a potentially gifted practitioner.
Bacon — the daughter of Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick and 2014's Miss Golden Globe — will portray Alice, a shy woman born of a magical but neglectful family. Alice is an outcast among her fellow students at Brakebills, but nonetheless emerges as the most brilliant magical practitioner in her class.
John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural) will pen the script, with Michael London (Milk) producing. Mike Cahill will direct the pilot, which begins production later this year. Hale Appleman and Arjun Gupta co-star in the pilot, which started production this week in New Orleans.
Ralph is represented by Gersh and Authentic Talent and Literary Management. Bacon is with the Kohner Agency, Schreck Rose and Impression Entertainment.