Dakota Fanning TNT The Alienist Sara Howard

Dakota Fanning Joins Cast of TNT's Gilded Age Thriller The Alienist

Dakota Fanning is growing up… and going back to the Gilded Age to solve some of New York City’s most brutal murders.

The former child actor has joined the cast of TNT’s upcoming period thriller The Alienist, the network announced Saturday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour. Based on Caleb Carr’s bestselling book series, The Alienist centers on three investigators working together to solve a series of murders in 1896 New York. Fanning will play Sara Howard, a young NYPD secretary who’s determined to become the department’s first female detective.

Fanning joins Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) and Luke Evans (The Hobbit trilogy) in the cast of The Alienist, which is currently set to debut in late 2017. Brühl stars as criminal psychologist (aka “alienist”) Dr. Lazlo Kreizler, with Evans playing newspaper reporter John Moore.

Since breaking out as a child star in blockbuster films like War of the Worlds and Man on Fire, Fanning hasn’t done much television, but she did star in Syfy’s 2002 alien-abduction miniseries Taken and appear in a 2004 episode of Friends. More recently, Fanning played powerful vampire Jane in the Twilight films.

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  1. BookGirl says:

    Great series of books, looking forward to the show.

  2. Just read the Alienist for a book club, it was a great story. Didn’t realize it was being adapted for TV. Fanning will make a good Sara Howard.

  3. Kate says:

    I would have prefered her as Mary. I’m excited for this show, and can’t believe the amazing cast.

    • Dr. Opossum says:

      I agree. She is a very petite and young-looking actress. I would have trouble taking her seriously as a detective today let alone in the 19th century!

  4. Yoko says:

    Loved the two Alienist books. Hope TNT does it justice.

  5. loco73 says:

    Just a minor correction…its only one novel “The Alienist”…not a “series” of books. Caleb Carr did write and publish a companion novel, “Angel Of Darkness”, set in the same place, a few years after the events in “The Alienist” with some of the same characters.

  6. Anne says:

    Oh how wonderful! I’m a big fan of hers so I’m glad to see she’s going to be doing some tv work!

  7. There will now be three shows (including Reverie and Gifted) that I will be looking forward to this fall.