The Alienist

When The Alienist was first published in 1994, author Caleb Carr said, “I was always aware that if done correctly, this could end up being a great movie.” Well, we’ll never know if a great movie could’ve been made from this material, and not for lack of trying. Paramount Pictures bought the movie rights before publication in 1993, but behind-the-scenes squabbles about budget and scripts kept The Alienist from the big screen for more than two decades.

Now Carr’s serial killer novel finds new life as a TNT TV series, with True Detective season 1 director Cary Fukunaga serving as producer and Black Mirror director Jakob Verbruggen at the helm. The verdict, after all that delay, is this: perhaps it would’ve made a better movie than TV show.

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Alienist TV series

The director of True Detective is taking on another full TV series — this time a period thriller set in New York City. The Caleb Carr novel The Alienist will be adapted for television, with True Detective and Beasts of No Nation director Cary Fukunaga (above, with Matthew McConaughey, who is not attached to this series) in the director’s chair. He and Eric Roth will exec produce, with Hossein Amini (Drive) writing the pilot script and also serving as exec producer. The language of the announcement makes it sound like Fukunaga will direct the entire Alienist TV series, rather than just the pilot.

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