However the Trump Administration ends, there’s a very good chance that we’re going to get dramatized movies, TV shows and limited series, probably very far into the future, with actors portraying Donald Trump and other Administration figures. That’s how it’s gone with Richard Nixon, going all the way back to the 1970s.
Now, we have word of the first of those projects.
Per Deadline, a limited series is in development based on A Higher Loyalty, the memoir by former FBI Director James Comey. Comey, of course, was fired by Trump in May of 2017 after he refused the president’s request for a pledge of loyalty. His firing was what triggered the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and was one of several incidents of possible obstruction of justice for which the Mueller Report did not reach a final determination.
The limited series is being developed by CBS Studios. Irish actor Brendan Gleeson will play Trump, while Jeff Daniels is set to portray Comey. Billy Ray, the director of Shattered Glass and Breach, will write and direct the limited series. It’s not yet been determined whether the show will debut on Showtime, CBS All Access, or a different CBS/Viacom property.
Once again, there are likely going to be numerous projects like this in the coming years, so the Comey project will have the advantage of arriving first. Also, Billy Ray is great at writing DC-based intrigue, and the idea of the burly veteran actor Gleeson playing Trump is intriguing.
Its possible disadvantages, however, begin but don’t end with Jeff Daniels being five inches shorter than the 6’8″ former FBI director. A recent CBS/Showtime limited series about recent political history, The Loudest Voice, was a ratings disaster, even though it was mostly creatively successful.
Comey is a much-reviled figure on different sides of the political spectrum, for very different reasons. Yes, Comey figures in various Trumpworld conspiracy theories about the “Deep State,” and alleged high-level scheming against the current president. Yet at the same time, many Hillary Clinton partisans loathe Comey due to the “Comey letter,” which the then-FBI boss sent to Congress in the final weeks of the 2016 election to indicate that the Hillary email probe had been re-opened.
Therefore, when it comes to drawing support for its Comey show, the producers of the adaptation must pin their hopes on centrists.