Spader will play Daniel Ellsberg — the government whistleblower who leaked the top-secret study, which highlighted the U.S.’ various missteps in the Vietnam War, to the New York Times in 1971.
“This is a very complex role, a hero who’s both an intellectual and brazen enough to go against the grain,” said FX entertainment prexy Kevin Reilly. “It’s a different kind of role than what he’s played traditionally.”
Rod Holcomb (“ER”) will direct the Paramount Network Television pic, which begins lensing in Canada and Los Angeles shortly for a December airdate.
Spader’s credits include “2 Days in the Valley,” “sex, lies and videotape” and the upcoming “Secretary.”