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Daniel Bruhl (Rush, Captain America: Civil War) and Luke Evans (The Hobbit, The Girl on the Train) have signed on for the drama series.
Based on the best-selling novel by Caleb Carr, The Alienist is a psychological thriller set in the Gilded Age of New York City in 1896, a city of vast wealth, extreme poverty and technological innovation. When several haunting, gruesome murders of boy prostitutes grips the city, newly appointed police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt calls upon criminal psychologist (aka alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Bruhl) and newspaper reporter John Moore (Evans) to conduct the investigation in secret. Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and early forensic investigation techniques, these social outsiders tracks down one of New York City’s first serial killers.
Known as an alienist — one who studies mental pathologies — Dr. Kriezler works as a specialist in deviant behavior. His profession, along with his careless intensity, makes him a social pariah in some circles, despite his striking good looks and a sophisticated sensibility. Kreizler is passionate about his work and tireless in his efforts to seek out the depraved killer whose vicious, barbaric and ritualistic deeds have terrorized the city’s poorest residents. In doing so, he hopes to also unravel the traumatic mysteries of the human psyche, especially his own, and answer the question behind what makes a man into a murderer.
Bruhl, who will next be seen in The Zookeeper’s Wife opposite Jessica Chastain, is repped by WME.
Evans will play John Moore. Handsome, easygoing, easily distracted and prone to melancholy, Moore is a society illustrator for The New York Times and a longtime friend of alienist Dr. Kreizler and police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt. While drowning his sorrows and lamenting the loss of a former lover, Kreizler summons Moore to the scene of a brutal crime. Always lacking drive and a meaning to his pursuits, he throws himself into assisting Kreizler’s investigation into the grisly murders and comes to face some hard truths about himself.
Next set to appear as Gaston in the highly anticipated live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, Evans is repped by WME.
TNT handed a series order to The Alienist back in 2015. However, since then, Emmy-winning director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective) has stepped down from the director’s role, with Jakob Verbruggen (Black Mirror) instead set to helm the series. Fukunaga remains an executive producer on the drama, along with Verbruggen, Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Oscar nominee Hossein Amini (Drive) and Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin. Turner’s Studio T will co-produce with Paramount TV. Production is slated to begin early next year in Budapest.
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