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Donald Trump and James Comey are coming to TV, and not just via news broadcasts or late night TV appearances. A miniseries being produced by CBS Studios is in the works that will be based on former FBI Director Comey's bestselling book, and it will chronicle events involving President Trump, Comey himself, and many more real-life figures.
The book is called A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership. It was published back in April 2018 and caused quite a stir, as it was penned by the man who was fired after President Trump wasn't happy with how James Comey was investigating the emails of Hillary Clinton. The uproar that followed won't soon be forgotten, nor will the fact that Comedy found out that he was fired from a TV report.
So, who will play Donald Trump and James Comey for the series? Let's start with who will tackle the role of Trump.
Irish actor Brendan Gleeson, arguably best known on the small screen for his work as star of Mr. Mercedes, is on board to play the 45th President of the United States. Screenwriter Billy Ray of Captain Philips fame is adapting James Comey's book for the four-hour miniseries, and he explained (via Variety) that it takes a "presence" and "singular kind of dynamism" to play Donald Trump, as well as an actor who is "spectacularly talented and watchable."
Bill Ray stated that "it's hard to imagine a bigger acting challenge" than playing Donald Trump. I wonder what Alec Baldwin would say to that! Something tells me that Brendan Gleeson's performance as Trump in the currently untitled miniseries won't have too much in common with Baldwin's portrayal of the President on Saturday Night Live. It's not yet clear how much of a presence Gleeson as Trump will have in the series, although the 2018 book does cover the relationship between James Comey and Trump.
Of course, a TV show based on a book written by James Comey was bound to include a version of Comey himself. So, what actor will play the former FBI director?
Once best known for his comedic roles, Jeff Daniels has proved himself more than capable of tackling drama, as reaffirmed in recent years due to his leading (and Emmy-nominated) role in Hulu's The Looming Tower and his Tony-nominated turn as Atticus Finch in the stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. Billy Ray, who will be directing the series as well as helming the adaptation, revealed that he knew he'd found "the only person who could play Jim Comey" after seeing him in To Kill A Mockingbird.
So, why is Jeff Daniels such a solid fit to play James Comey? Billy Ray explained that his "instant integrity, loads of warmth, intelligence, complexity and gravitas" are what convinced him that he needed Daniels for the project. Fortunately, Daniels said yes, and he will play the James Comey to Brendan Gleeson's Donald Trump.
Although the miniseries is being produced by CBS Studios, it will likely air on Showtime, CBS All Access, or both. Production begins in November, but there is no target premiere date announced just yet. Michael Kelly, a.k.a. Doug Stamper of that shocking twist from House of Cards, is on board to play Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and Jennifer Ehle will play Patrice Comedy, James Comey's wife. This will reunite Ehle with Jeff Daniels, as she appeared in three episodes of Daniels' The Looming Tower.
If you want to see Brendan Gleeson and Jeff Daniels sooner than when this miniseries will premiere, you can find Gleeson in episodes of Mr. Mercedes on Audience Network and catch Daniels in the first and only season of The Looming Tower streaming on Hulu. For some additional viewing options, swing by our fall 2019 premiere schedule.