This past March, we first heard about Knifeman, a TV series that is being developed by David Cronenberg. We haven’t heard anything about the project since then, but a lead actor has now been cast.
Tim Roth will be playing radical surgeon John Tattersall, according to Deadline. The project is based on The Knife Man, a biography of eighteenth century surgeon John Hunter, so we aren’t sure if the name change is due to a typo or if the project only loosely based on the source material.
Book Synopsis: “The Knife Man, relates the life of maverick 18th-century surgeon John Hunter. From humble Scottish origins, John Hunter rose to become the most famous anatomist and surgeon of the eighteenth century. In an age when operations were crude, extremely painful and often fatal, Hunter rejected medieval traditions based on ancient Greek orthodoxy to forge a revolution in surgery founded on pioneering scientific experiments. Using the knowledge gained from countless human dissections, Hunter worked to improve medical care for both the poorest and the best-known characters of the time, including the prime minister William Pitt, the artist Sir Joshua Reynolds and the young Lord Byron.
Although a central figure of the Enlightenment, revered by fellow scientists and friendly with high society, Hunter’s tireless quest for human corpses immersed him deep in the sinister world of body-snatching. He paid exorbitant sums for stolen cadavers, stalked interesting specimens and even managed to steal the body of Charles Byrne, better known as the ‘Irish giant’.
Byrne’s skeleton, along with thousands more trophies of Hunter’s research, can still be seen today in the Hunterian Museum at the headquarters of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in London.”
Knifeman is still in the early stages, but David Cronenberg is expected to direct the pilot episode and will executive produce the series. This is being developed as a straight-to-series project and will be shopped to networks in the near future.