Syfy and Universal Cable Productions have cast Jason Ralph (Aquarius) for the lead role of Quentin and Sosie Bacon (The Closer) as Alice, in the television adaptation of Lev Grossman’s beloved #1 New York Times best-selling book series, The Magicians. The series started production in New Orleans this week.
Additional series regular roles include the previously announced Stella Maeve as Julia, Hale Appleman as Eliot and Arjun Gupta as Penny. Acclaimed independent filmmaker Mike Cahill (I, Origins, Another Earth) will direct the pilot.
Ralph will star as Quentin Coldwater, a brilliant, withdrawn yet strangely compelling young man who feels like an outsider among his accomplished peers – including beautiful Julia, upon whom he has had a hopeless crush since childhood. Dangerously depressed and disaffected, Quentin has always been a huge fan of a series of books set in the magical land of Fillory – books that still hold immense fascination for him, even though they are intended for children. When he’s recruited as a new student at the mysterious Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, he realizes that magic is very real, and that he himself is a potentially gifted practitioner. Versatile actor Ralph began his collegiate studies at the acclaimed theater program at Colin College in Plano, Texas. He is known for his roles in the feature films Brightest Star, I’m Obsessed With You (But You’ve Got to Leave Me Alone) and Those People. He has also appeared on HBO’s Looking and Blue Bloods, and will have a key recurring arc on NBC’s new series Aquarius opposite David Duchovny. He currently serves as the co-artistic and producing director of his theater company, Strangemen & Co, and starred as Boy/Peter in the Off-Broadway run of Peter and the Starcatcher, the Tony-winning prequel to Peter Pan. Ralph is represented by Gersh and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.
Bacon will portray Alice, an intensely shy and delicately lovely young woman. Born of a magical but neglectful family, Alice is an outcast among her fellow students at Brakebills, but nonetheless emerges as the most brilliant magical practitioner in her class. Bacon recently wrapped production on the independent film The Lost Boy, in which she stars opposite Virginia Madsen, as well as supporting role in the film Wishin’ And Hopin’ based on the novel of the same name by acclaimed writer Wally Lamb. Bacon began her acting career at the age of 11 when she appeared in the film Loverboy directed by Kevin Bacon. She also appeared in a major arc on season five of the hit TNT series The Closer, opposite Kyra Sedgwick. Bacon’s additional on camera credits include the thriller Off Seasons directed by Robert Cole. In 2013, Bacon was selected by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association as 2014 Miss Golden Globe. She is repped by The Kohner Agency, Schreck, Rose, Dapello & Adams and Impression Entertainment.
The Magicians, produced by Universal Cable Productions, 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 grave danger to humanity. John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural) will write the script, with Michael London (Milk) as producer. Production on the pilot started December 2 in New Orleans.