Steven Soderbergh may have "retired" from feature films following the critically acclaimed Liberace biopic 'Behind the Candelabra,' but that hasn't stopped the director from making a full time jump to the small screen. Picked up by Cinemax awhile back, 'The Knick' is a medical drama set in early 1900's New York. The setting is (naturally) downtown NYC's Knickerbocker Hospital. The series follows the lives of the envelope pushing doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital, who struggle to keep people alive in a time before antibiotics even existed. The life expectancy was much lower back then, and many things we don't pay any mind to today had the very real potential to send patients on a one-way trip to the morgue.
Soderbergh himself will executive produce and direct all 10 episodes of the debut season, and in-demand actor Clive Owen has already signed on to both star in and co-produce the series. Now, Deadline brings us the news that four other actors have recently joined the cast.
Andre Holland (who was a regular on the short-lived comedy '1600 Penn' and appeared in the recent film '42') will portray a Harvard educated surgeon named Algernon, who is in a constant battle for respect in the racially charged atmosphere of early 20th century New York. Juliet Rylance (best known for playing Ethan Hawke's wife in the horror film 'Sinister') is set to play Cornelia, a passionate "driving force" who constantly finds her sincere efforts to improve the Knick overshadowed by her wealthy philanthropist father's contributions. Relative newcomer Eve Hewson will play Lucy, a young southern nurse that quickly finds way more excitement than she bargained for in the big city. Finally, Michael Angarano (Empire State, Gentlemen Broncos) portrays Dr. Bertram Chickering Jr., a surgeon-in-training eager to learn his craft via trial by fire.
Production on 'The Knick' will begin this fall, for a projected 2014 premiere. Will you be watching?