Based on the international 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 a series of haunting, gruesome murders of boy prostitutes grips the city, newly appointed Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt calls upon criminal psychologist (aka alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler (Brühl) and newspaper reporter John Moore (Evans) to conduct the investigation in secret. They are aided by a makeshift crew of singular characters, among them the intrepid Sara Howard, a young secretary on Roosevelt’s staff who is determined to become NYC’s first female police detective. Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and early forensic investigation techniques, this band of social outsiders tracks down one of New York’s first serial killers.
Known as an alienist – one who studies mental pathologies – Brühl’s 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.
Handsome, easygoing, easily distracted and prone to melancholy, Evans’ Moore is a society illustrator for The New York Times and a longtime friend of Dr. Kreizler and Commissioner Roosevelt. While Moore is drowning his sorrows and lamenting the loss of a former lover, Kreizler summons him 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.
Slated to premiere in late 2017 on TNT, The Alienist will be directed and executive-produced by BAFTA-nominated director Jakob Verbruggen (Black Mirror). The series is a co-production of Paramount Television and Turner’s Studio T. Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Hossein Amini (Drive) and Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin, all serve as executive producers. Production will begin in early 2017 in Budapest.
Brühl, known for his work in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds, and Ron Howard’s Rush, most recently shot God Particle and The Zookeeper’s Wife and is currently filming Entebbe.
Evans, known as the the heroic Bard the Bowman in Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy The Hobbit and for the title role in Dracula Untold, just wrapped leading roles in features State Like Sleep and Professor Marston.