How ‘The Alienist’ Finally Found a Screen

The 10-episode season will present, from start to finish, the book’s story of Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, a brilliant, prickly psychiatrist — or alienist, in the parlance of the day — and his team of cohorts tracking a killer who preys on boy prostitutes in the vice-ridden city. The German actor Daniel Brühl (“Rush”) stars as the titular doctor, with Dakota Fanning (“American Pastoral”) and Luke Evans (“Beauty and the Beast”) rounding out the leads.

Mr. Carr said the past film attempts failed because producers like Scott Rudin sought to turn his layered psychological tale into a more conventionally formatted blockbuster, proposing to cut characters, add a love story and otherwise abandon the main focus on the team tracking the murderer.

“If you don’t get what the central dynamic of a book is, you’re not going to be able to make a good movie out

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