After you helm the most talked about television program of 2014, there’s a bit more freedom, creatively speaking, given when the choice of a new project comes along and how you’d like to approach that project. In the case of Cary Fukunaga, who directed the visually stunning first season of HBO’s True Detective, the triumph of the series has allowed Fukunaga to secure distribution for Beasts of No Nation, his hugely controversial film focused on a child soldier in Africa and starring Idris Elba, through Netflix, and directorial duties on a new adaptation of Stephen King‘s It. On top of these two major projects, The Wrap reports today that Fukunaga is attached to another cherry television directing gig, this one being an adaptation of Caleb Carr‘s The Alienist for Paramount and Anonymous Content.
The Wrap summarizes the story of The Alienist as such:
Set in the tenements and mansions of Gilded Age New York City, Carr’s 1994 novel tells the story of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler who, with the help of newspaper reporter John Moore and police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, uses the emerging discipline of psychology to track down one of New York City’s first serial killers.
Considering Fukunaga’s fascination with foreign landscapes and psychological warfare, Carr’s hugely popular novel sounds like the perfect match for his distinct sense of gloomy aesthetics and period detail, which denoted his excellent adaptation of Jane Eyre. Eric Roth, who wrote Forrest Gump and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, is serving as producer on the project, and is similarly a natural choice for The Alienist, as his past work has similarly hinged on an understanding of America’s complicated past and the expansiveness of time itself. Look forward to some decidedly grim history lessons.