Luke Evans and Golden Globe nominee Daniel Bruhl have joined the cast of the upcoming TNT drama series The Alienist, taking two of the lead roles. The show, which received a straight to series order from the network, is based upon the bestselling novel of the same name by Caleb Carr, and has cycled through a number of casting options and director hires, before seeming to settle into making some progress toward production.
Originally slated to helmed by Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), the show will now be directed by Jakob Verbruggen (House of Cards, Black Mirror), with Fukunaga serving as co-producer. Cary Fukunaga reportedly also worked on the script, along with Hossein Amini (Drive).
It is, essentially, a police procedural with a twist in that it’s set in the New York City of 1896 – at the forefront of technological innovation, and the development of early psychological and forensic profiling. Theodore Roosevelt is the newly appointed Police Commissioner and, as a series of horrific murders sweep through the rapidly expanding metropolis, he enlists the help of two friends to secretly investigate the crimes: criminal psychologist Laszlo Kreizler, and reporter John Moore.
Daniel Bruhl is set to play Kreizler, and Luke Evans has taken the part of Moore. The two men are a fairly cookie-cutter duo in terms of characterization, with Kreizler being the socially awkward, misunderstood loner that studies human behaviour, and Moore being the conventionally handsome, though emotionally wounded foil for the genius of the scientifically-minded Kreizler. Whether the material is compelling enough to make this premise and cast of characters stand out from the many, very similar series that have graced our screens will not become apparent until later in 2017, when The Alienist is expected to air.