While we’re still trying to get over the fact that Cary Fukunaga is no longer directing his two-part Stephen King adaptation of It, the Beasts of No Nation and True Detective filmmaker has now turned his attention back to the small screen, and casting appears to be heating up. Fukunaga is directing and executive producing the eight-part TNT series The Alienist, which takes place in late 1800s New York City and revolves around the search for a serial killer by then-police commissioner Theodore Roosevelt, a doctor and a reporter, and now The Wrap reports that actor Garrett Hedlund is in early negotiations to take the lead.
TNT made a whopping $5 million-per-episode agreement for the series in an effort to revitalize its original drama programming by bringing more edgy and glossy material to the network, and landing Hedlund in addition to Fukunaga would certainly up the prestige factor of the show even further. Fukunaga famously helmed every episode of True Detective‘s first season but it’s unclear how many episodes he’ll be directing of The Alienist. His work on True Detective was no doubt taxing, but boy did it result in some damn fine television.
In between franchise plays like Tron: Legacy and the unfairly derided Pan, Hedlund has kept things interesting with notable turns in films like Inside Llewyn Davis and On the Road. He most recently shot a role in Steven Soderbergh’s ambitious HBO project Mosaic opposite Sharon Stone, and he stars in Ang Lee’s cutting-edge Iraq War satire Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which opens this fall.
Drive scribe Hossein Amini penned the script for The Alienist based on the bestselling novel of the same name by author Caleb Carr, with Eric Roth also executive producing. I’ve gotta be honest—a TV series about Theodore Roosevelt searching for a serial killer, directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Garrett Hedlund, sounds like an incredible thing that I must have right now. So here’s hoping Hedlund’s deal goes through.