TNT announced Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral) has joined the cast of The Alienist. The dramatic series is based on Caleb Carr’s bestselling novel and is directed and executive produced by Jakob Vergruggen (Black Mirror). Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), Eric Roth (Forrest Gump), Hossein Amini (Drive), Steve Golin, and Rosalie Swedlin are also on board as executive producers.
The Plot: 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 the first female police detective in New York City. Using the emerging disciplines of psychology and early forensic investigation techniques, this band of social outsiders tracks down one of New York City’s first serial killers.
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, Sarah 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.