May 14, 2014 7:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Tom Hollander, Daniel Mays to Star in AMC's 'Knifeman' (Exclusive)
AMC has cast the leads for its Knifeman pilot.
Tom Hollander and Daniel Mays will star as brothers in the drama inspired by Wendy Moore's John Hunter biography The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery.
Set in 18th century London, Knifeman tells the story of a charming, arrogant, decorum-breaking genius who challenges societal norms to transform his visions into cutting-edge discoveries
Hollander will play John, a charismatic visionary, quack and scoundrel. Obsessive in his pursuit of knowledge, loyal to his small band of student followers, he wakes up every morning in a dubious battle with the diseases of London. He is a man fully embracing all five senses, dangerously unaware of his own mortality and speeding breakneck into the unknown.
Mays is set as Julian, John's brother and his polar opposite. A resident physician at St. Stephens, he is prim, proper and quintessentially British, embodying the manners and beliefs of his time period. He believes that his institution is at the forefront of medical advancement and refuses to accept his brother's ridiculous theories (though he needs his brother for the "supplies" he brings him). A widower with two children, he begins to fall for another woman.
Developed by Media Rights Capital, Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights) penned the pilot and will executive produce alongside Ron Fitzgerald, Josh Donnen and Robert Zotnowski.
Hollander's credits include two of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, Gosford Park, Pride & Prejudice and the starring role in BBC's Rev. and Harry. He's repped by UTA, 42 Management and Bloom Hergott.
May's resume includes The Adventures of Tintin, Atonement and The Bank Job. He's repped by UTA and the U.K.'s Curtis Brown Group.