Syfy has cast three of the lead roles for their drama pilot The Magicians.
Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie), Stella Maeve (Chicago PD) and Hale Appleman (Teeth) have all boarded the hour-long project, which is an adaptation of the Lev Grossman novel of the same name, TVWise has learned.
Developed for television by Prime Suspect‘s John McNamara and Supernatural‘s Sera Gamble, The Magicians follows 20-somethings who, while studying magic in New York, discover that the magical fantasy world they read about as children is all too real and poses a grave danger to humanity.
Arjun Gupta will play Penny, a reluctant telepath and student at Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy who deliberately intimidates his new roommate and fellow magic student Quentin; Stella Maeve has been cast as Julia, a wealthy and brilliant Ivy-Leaguer whose life is changes forever when she is denied admittance to Brakebills and subsequently recruited by a secret society; while Hale Appleman will portray Eliot, a student at the Brakebills who proves to be a sometimes frustrating ally in Quentin’s fortunes — and may soon factor into a series of perilous adventure.
The project landed a pilot order at Syfy back in July as part of the network’s aggressive push back into scripted originals, which has seen them greenlight such series as Z Nation, 12 Monkeys and Hunters. The Magicians is being produced by Syfy’s sister studio Universal Cable Productions, with Michael London serving as the producer. Production on the pilot is set to commence this December in New Orleans.