Although there has not yet been a press release regarding this piece of news, Douglas Smith is now listed on IMDb’s cast summary for TNT’s adaptation of The Alienist to play Marcus Isaacson. The thirty-one year old actor has appeared in a number of TV series over the years, including Out There (2003), Cold Case (2003), CSI: Miami (2004) and CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2006-2007), Big Love (2006-2011), and Vinyl (2016). Recently, he has also appeared in the feature film Miss Sloane (2016) and will be appearing in the new TV mini-series When We Rise (2017).
With the casting of Marcus now finalised, we finally have a complete investigative team, at least with regard to the fictional members of the team. (We are yet to know who will be playing Theodore Roosevelt.) And with that, I’m curious! Are you happy with the casting? How well do the choices match your imagination? I would love to hear your feelings and thoughts below.
Two more casting announcements have been made this week for TNT’s TV adaptation of The Alienist. Variety reported earlier this week that Matt Lintz has been cast as Stevie Taggert. The fifteen year old actor has previously appeared in feature films Pixels (2015) and Kill the Messenger (2014), along with a number of TV series including Sleepy Hollow (2013), Banshee (2013), and Revolution (2012). Variety’s description of Stevie as a boy “hardened by a life on the streets” who had risen to “become the bane of fifteen police precincts” before becoming Dr. Kreizler’s ward is loyal to the source material, and Matt Lintz certainly looks the part for the youngest member of the investigative team.
In addition, Deadline reported on Friday that Matthew Shear has also joined the cast as Lucius Isaacson. Matthew’s break-out role was in Mistress America (2015), but he has also appeared in number of TV series including Horace and Pete (2016) and Deadbeat (2016). As with Stevie, Deadline’s description of Lucius as “an extremely intelligent, focused man whose medical studies have helped hone his expertise in criminal science” is consistent with the novel, but the extended description that he “believes that bones provide the most accurate information when it comes to forensics” comes out of nowhere and is a little troubling.
Finally, TV Wise exclusively reported on Wednesday that Netflix is currently finalising a deal for international distribution of the ten episode series. They report that the deal will give Netflix first window rights in the UK along with more than 170 other countries. Good news for those of us outside the United States!
TNT announced on Wednesday that Robert Wisdom (The Wire) and Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World) will join the cast of The Alienist as Cyrus Montrose and Mary Palmer, respectively.
Robert Wisdom has appeared in a number of TV series over the years, including Prison Break (2007-2008), The Wire (2003-2008), Supernatural (2008-2009), and Nashville (2012-2013). In addition, he has also appeared in Live Cargo (2016), The Dark Knight Rises (2012), Face Off (1997), and Ray (2004). TNT’s press release has not provided much detail about how Cyrus will be portrayed in the upcoming adaptation, but their brief description of Cyrus as “a man with a dark past who Kreizler has helped reform” is certainly loyal to the source material.
Although Q’orianka Kilcher (The New World) could be considered a surprising choice as Mary Palmer on the surface, her performance opposite Colin Farrell and Christian Bale in The New World (2006) earned her a National Board of Review’s Breakthrough Performance by an Actress Award and an ALMA Award for Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture. Q’orianka has also starred in other period pieces such as Princess Kaiulani (2009) and Te Ata (2016). In addition to her acting, Q’orianka is noted for her activism and has spoken for organisations such as Amnesty International. It will take a remarkable actress to sensitively portray Mary who, though frustrated by disability, is a strong and complex character; however, the casting of Q’orianka has given me some hope that this may be accomplished.
At this stage, we lack casting information for Theodore Roosevelt, the Isaacson brothers, Stevie Taggert, and John Beecham. Given some of the choices made so far, it will certainly be interesting to see how the remainder of the cast will come together. Production is scheduled to begin in early 2017 in Budapest.
TNT announced today that Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral) has been cast as intrepid police secretary, Sara Howard, in the upcoming TV adaptation of The Alienist. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this will be Ms. Fanning’s “first significant TV foray since her turn in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 Syfy miniseries Taken.” In the intervening time, she has appeared in films including The War of the Worlds (2005), The Secret Life of Bees (2008), the Twilight saga (2009-10), Effie Gray (2014), The Benefactor (2015), and most recently American Pastoral (2016). In the coming years, she will also be appearing in The Bell Jar and Ocean’s Eight.
In addition, there appears to be some good news for Alienist fans hoping for a loyal adaptation, with TNT’s press release describing the character of Sara Howard in terms consistent with the source material (see below). It will be exciting to see who is cast for the remaining members of the investigative team, as well as the important historical figure of Theodore Roosevelt. Production begins in early 2017 in Budapest.
Fanning’s character, the primly dressed but beautiful Sara Howard, is the first woman hired by the New York Police Department and she is determined to become the first female police detective in New York City. Self-possessed and intelligent, Sara grew up as an only child who was doted on by her father. She not only “shakes hands like a man,” but considers herself just as competent –- if not more so –- than any of the men on the force. Well-bred and well-spoken, Sara has a keen interest in crime-solving and is immediately intrigued by the case being investigated by Kreizler and Moore.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Variety/REX/Shutterstock (5895246bj), Dakota Fanning of ‘American Pastoral’, Variety and Shutterstock Portrait Studio, Day 1, Toronto International Film Festival, Canada – 09 Sep 2016