After casting Jeff Daniels as James Comey, CBS Studios has found its Donald Trump for its upcoming miniseries based on the former FBI director’s memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.” Brendan Gleeson will play Trump, who figured prominently in Comey’s 2018 memoir.
The project is written by “Richard Jewell” and “Captain Phillips” writer Billy Ray and comes from Alex Kurtzman’s Secret Hideout and Shane Salerno’s The Story Factory. Filming for the four-part series begins in November, which could air on either CBS All Access or Showtime.
The book, which was released in April 2018 by Flatiron Books, gets its title from Trump’s reported desire for Comey to give him a loyalty pledge. Comey was first appointed FBI director by former President Barack Obama in 2013 and was fired by Trump less than a year into his presidency.
“It’s hard to imagine a bigger acting challenge than playing Donald Trump. 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,” Ray said. “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 book shares Comey’s never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions. His journey provides an unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in what makes an effective leader.
From prosecuting the Mafia and Martha Stewart to helping change the Bush administration’s policies on torture and electronic surveillance, overseeing the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation as well as ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Comey has been involved in some of the most consequential cases and policies of recent history.
Ray researched the project for over a year in order to make the drama a fair, responsible and comprehensively documented account of real-life events. He traveled to Washington, D.C. and several other cities to meet with Comey, his family, and many other key players, including prominent journalists, FBI agents, government officials from both political parties and others.