CBS Studios has a mini-series on the way that will focus on the forty-fifth president of the United Sates and the former FBI director.
Heading into production is a four-hour event miniseries that will star Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump and Jeff Daniels as James Comey. It’s going to be based on Comey’s best-selling book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership, which covered a lot of his career, including his period under Trump that ended with the president firing him.
Of course, it’s Comey’s relationship with Trump that will be in focus here. As FBI Director, Comey looked into former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, was pushed by Trump to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her email handling, and looked into the claims of Trump-Russia connections. Suffice it to say, Trump wasn’t happy, and he fired Comey on May 2017, four years after Comey was appointed as the seventh FBI Director by President Barack Obama.
The book has been adapted by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Billy Ray, whose credits include The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips, Clint Eastwod’s upcoming Richard Jewell, and the upcoming Terminator: Dark Fate. Ray will also be directing.
“It’s hard to imagine a bigger acting challenge than playing Donald Trump,” Ray said of Gleeson’s casting. “You have to have presence, and a singular kind of dynamism. You also have to have the courage and the will to play Trump’s psychology from the inside out. Oh, and you have to be spectacularly talented and watchable. Not many actors check all those boxes. Brendan does. I’m ecstatic about this.”
Indeed, Gleeson as Trump could be one inspired bit of casting. The Irish actor has long been a very solid actor, putting in strong turns in works such as In Bruges, Braveheart, and the Harry Potter franchise (where he was Alastar ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody). It’s going to be interesting to see him in this role; could he nail that accent and those mannerisms?
A strong two-hander is promised with the casting of Daniels, who recently played FBI Counterterrorism Centre of New York John O’Neill in last year’s Hulu miniseries, The Looming Tower.
“Jeff is so perfect for this part. Great actor, instant integrity, loads of warmth, intelligence, complexity and gravitas. We talked backstage after I saw him in To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway, and I knew I was looking at the only person who could play Jim Comey. Lucky for me, he said yes.”
To Kill a Mockingbird, by the way, is from Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, Moneyball) and has become the highest-grossing American play in Broadway history. Daniels has been performing as Atticus Finch for around 52 weeks straight.
Also in the cast: House of Cards actor Michael Kelly, set to play Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and Tony-winner Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty) as Patrice Comey.
This Trump-Comey miniseries, executive produced by Alex Kurtzman (The Mummy), Shane Salerno (Avatar sequels writer) and Heather Kadin (Star Trek: Picard), will begin production in November.