Someone Other Than Will Ferrell Will Play Janet Reno In The Unabomber Movie

will ferrell janet reno

Whenever former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno would appear on TV during her governmental tenure, it was more often than not the actual Janet Reno on the screen. And if it wasn't her, then it was Will Farrell giving it his all for his hilarious Saturday Night Live impressions. But for Manifesto, the upcoming TV miniseries focused on the infamous Unabomber, Ferrell didn't get tapped for the role of the late Janet Reno, but it was given to someone usually known for similarly comedic roles: Jane Lynch.

That's right, former Glee regular and current Hollywood Game Night host Jane Lynch will don the spectacles to play Janet Reno for Manifesto, an eight-episode limited series bringing the Unabomber's tale to TV audiences hungry for more true crime programming. The first female to take on the role of U.S. Attorney General, Reno was heavily involved in the capturing of Ted Kaczynski, as well as the conviction, and she was part of the release of the wild manifesto that he detailed all of his irrational thoughts in. It's unclear in THR's report how big Lynch's part will be, or how often she'll be seen, but considering she's in the first handful of big names acquired, that's a good sign.

The main thrust of Manifesto will center on the hunt for Ted "Unabomber" Kaczynski, played by Paul Bettany of Marvel films fame. (Hopefully his Vision powers aren't a part of Kaczynski's arsenal.) The slippery terrorist was a deadly blight to U.S. law enforcement officials from 1978 until his 1995 arrest, and the Discovery series has Avatar's Sam Worthington as FBI agent Jim "Fitz" Fitzgerald and his partner Tabby (played by Game of Thrones's Keisha Castle-Hughes) on the hunt to track him down, with Law & Order vet Chris Noth as the divisional FBI head in the Bay Area who supervised the takedown. The Knick's Jeremy Bobb is also part of the ensemble. (For what it's worth, Will Ferrell wasn't tapped for any other roles, either.)

jane lynch

An Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Jane Lynch has been a crazy prolific actress since the late 1990s, appearing in seemingly 60% of the TV shows and movies that have come out in the time since, from The X-Files to Arrested Development to all of her Christopher Guest collaborations. And though she's always making audiences laugh in recent years on Hollywood Game Night and Portlandia and Two and a Half Men, she's no stranger to dramas. And in fact, she will soon be seen reprising her recurring role of Diana Reid on Criminal Minds for the first time in nine years.

Manifesto, which boasts the actual Jim Fitzgerald as a consultant, has Banshee and Quarry director Greg Yaitanes as director and co-showrunner alongside screenwriter Andrew Sodroski. No date has been set just yet for Manifesto on Discovery, but now that the casting is looking a little more rounded out, you can bet that more announcements will be on the way soon. In the meantime, head to our midseason premiere schedule to see what you can start watching and rewatching in the coming months.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.