amclogo4AMC Studios has tapped The Book Thief director Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) to helm the pilot for Knifeman, the drama about a charming, arrogant surgeon who robs graves and harvests organs in 18th century London. Rolin Jones (United States of Tara) wrote the pilot, adapted from Wendy Moore’s John Hunter biography The Knife Man: Blood, Body Snatching and the Birth of Modern Surgery, which he developed with Ron Fitzgerald; both will exec produce. Another 2014 AMC pilot, Galyntine, will be directed by David Mackenzie (Starred Up, Perfect Sense). The fantasy-action adventure with hints of sci-fi is set in a postapocalyptic future without technology where a band of survivors is forced to adapt to isolation and the challenges of their new world. Jason Cahill (Halt and Catch Fire) wrote the pilot and is exec producing with The Walking Dead‘s Greg Nicotero. Scott Free’s David Zucker and Ridley Scott also are executive producing through their first-look deal with AMC. Knifeman and Galytine are being eyed for 2015 series pickups. The network is premiering new series Halt and Catch Fire, Turn and Better Call Saul this year.

Related: 2014 AMC Pilots