David Cronenberg and Sam Raimi Bring ‘Knifeman’ To TV

The duo will adapt Wendy Moore's novel about the father of modern surgery.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Outside of medical and literary circles, the name John Hunter isn't widely known. But that may soon change.

Media Rights Capital has announced that film directors David Cronenberg and Sam Raimi have teamed up on a television adaptation of Wendy Moore's novel, "The Knife Man;" which followed the life of John Hunter, a surgeon who is widely credited as one of the forerunners of modern medicine.

Cronenberg will direct the pilot episode of "Knifeman" and serve as an executive producer alongside Raimi, Robert Zotnowski, Rolin Jones and Ron Fitzgerald. Jones wrote the pilot episode from a story conceived by himself and Fitzgerald.

The description of the "Knifeman" TV series says that it "follows the trials and triumphs of a radical, self-educated surgeon delivering a visceral and psychological portrait of the extraordinary and unorthodox lengths he will go to uncover the secrets of the human body."

The historical John Hunter was born in 1728, and he learned the art of surgery while stealing bodies for dissection alongside his brother, William. Hunter remained associated with grave robbers his entire life, as he continuously sought to examine genetic abnormalities for his research.

Hunter was also the equivalent of a rock star surgeon, treating the celebrities of his era. But Hunter's most lasting contribution to the field of medicine was applying the scientific method to surgery; which held that only treatments that had proven to be successful should be used in general practice. 

It's not clear if the "Knifeman" TV series will simply be inspired by Hunter's life or if it will take significant liberties with his story. It should also be noted that the "Knifeman" project is not currently attached to any TV network, but MRC is the company behind “House of Cards;” the upcoming Netflix original series from director David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey.


Who would you cast in the lead of a "Knifeman" TV series? Share your picks in the comment section below!