Jeff Daniels has found his next challenging role.
The actor is set to star as former FBI Director James Comey in a four-hour CBS Studios event miniseries based on Comey’s bestselling book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership.” In addition, Brendan Gleeson has been cast as President Donald Trump while Michael Kelly will play Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Jennifer Ehle will play Patrice Comey, James’ wife.
“Captain Phillips” screenwriter Billy Ray has adapted the book and will be directing the as-yet-untitled series, which is executive produced by Alex Kurtzman, Shane Salerno and Heather Kadin. The drama is slated to being production in November, 2019 with an airdate to be announced at a later date. CBS Studios has yet to determine whether the series will air on Showtime, CBS Access or both.
“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,” said Ray of Daniels’ casting.
Comey was dismissed from his FBI role in May, 2017, after President Trump took objection to Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hilary Clinton’s emails. Comey famously learned of his dismissal from TV news reports that played in the background in the middle of his speech to agents at a Los Angeles field office. The series will likely deal with President Trump in some form as Comey’s book, published in April, 2018, discusses his relationship with the President among other issues.
“It’s hard to imagine a bigger acting challenge than playing Donald Trump,” Ray said of Gleeson. “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.”
The miniseries will be produced by Secret Hideout, The Story Factory and Home Run Productions in association with CBS TTV Studios.
Daniels is represented by ICM Partners, Martino Management and Rogers & Cowan. Gleeson is repped by The Agency and Principal Entertainment. Kelly is repped by WME, Liebman Entertainment, and Schreck Rose. Ehle is repped by UTA and Independent Talent in the UK.