The Alienist Heads To Television With Cary Fukunaga At The Helm

Director Cary Fukunaga arrives at "Celebrate Sundance Institute" the Sundance Institute's inaugural benefit in Beverly Hills, California

Success can be a double-edged sword. Delivering the first season of the highly acclaimed TV series True Detective has clearly made director Cary Fukunaga a sought-after commodity – and deservedly so. However, an influx of work opportunities can lead to something of a backlog, with fans chomping at the bit for one project or the other. This makes today’s announcement maddening for those patiently awaiting Fukunaga’s version of Stephen King’s It, since it has the director moving full-steam ahead with a television adaptation of the 1994 novel The Alienist.

The source material was written by author Caleb Carr and is a crime novel set in 1896 in New York City. It follows several prominent figures from that time and place, including Theodore Roosevelt at the point in his career when he was New York City Police Commissioner. Roosevelt oversees a team of homicide investigators who use emerging tactics such as psychological profiling, and develop scientific methods such as finger-printing. The title of the book is a reference to an old term for psychiatrist – coming from the idea that mentally ill individuals were alienated from society. The Alienist of the title is Dr. Laszlo Kreizler.

The story itself is both gruesome and shocking, as the characters face the challenge of tracking down serial killers in a corrupt and difficult city. The novel is being adapted for television by Hossein Amini (Drive), and Fukunaga will executive produce alongside Eric Roth, as well as direct the series.

President of Paramount Television, Amy Powell explained the excitement surrounding the project, and the team that has been assembled to bring it to fruition.

The Alienist is a fascinating and distinctive, fast-paced psychological thriller that is wonderfully evocative of the unrivalled Gilded Age of New York City. 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.”

There is no word yet on when The Alienist might be scheduled to head into production, but it has been reported that Fukunaga’s version of Stephen King’s It is due to film this summer. We will have to wait and see which one actually gets to the finish line first.

Source: The Wrap