Syfy has cast three key roles for the pilot of The Magicians, its adaptation of the bestselling fantasy trilogy by Lev Grossman.
Produced by Universal Cable Productions, The Magicians follows Quentin Coldwater and his classmates at Brakebills, an elite college of magic in Upstate New York, who discover that a Narnia-like world from a series of children’s books is all too real and poses a danger to humanity.
Stella Maeve (Chicago PD, The Runaways) will play Julia, a brilliant and confident Ivy Leaguer who's denied admittance to Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy, sending her life into a tailspin. However, she may find another opportunity to pursue a career in magic when she's recruited by a secret society.
Hale Appleman (Pedro, Smash) has been cast as Eliot, an effortlessly hip Brakebills student who's a natural leader of his classmates and a sometimes-frustrating ally of Quentin.
Arjun Gupta (Nurse Jackie, How to Get Away With Murder) will portray Penny, Quentin's deliberately intimidating roommate, and a reluctant telepath "bedeviled by voices that hint at pathways to other worlds."
The script was written by John McNamara (Prime Suspect) and Sera Gamble (Supernatural); Michael London (Milk) is producing with Janice Williams (All Good Girls). Production is set to begin in December in New Orleans.