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Cary Fukunaga to Be Replaced By Jakob Verbruggen as Director of ‘The Alienist’

Fukunaga remains on as executive producer of upcoming TNT drama series

Jakob Verbruggen will step in for Cary Fukunaga as director of TNT’s “The Alienist,” the network announced on Thursday.

Fukunaga was originally set to write and direct every episode of the adaptation of Caleb Carr’s best-selling novel, but was unable due to scheduling conflicts. Verbruggen, whose previous credits include “Black Mirror” and “The Fall,” will direct instead, with Fukunaga remaining on as executive producer.

A co-production between Paramount TV and Studio T, “The Alienist” will begin filming in Budapest next year. Eric Roth, Hossein Amini, Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin and Rosalie Swedlin will also executive produce.

The psychological thriller is set in the Gilded Age of 1896 New York, 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 (a.k.a. alienist) Dr. Laszlo Kreizler and newspaper reporter John Moore to conduct the investigation in secret.

“Jakob will capture the intensity of this edge-of-your-seat thriller,” said Sarah Aubrey, executive vice president of original programming for TNT. “The ‘Alienist’s’ unique setting and characters, along with its pervasively tense and unsettling mood, couldn’t be in better hands.”

“No one can bring ‘The Alienist’ to life better than director Jakob Verbruggen and the stellar producing team of Cary Fukunaga, Eric Roth, Hossein Amini and Anonymous Content,” said Amy Powell, president of Paramount Television and Digital Entertainment.