The Comey Rule, Showtime’s upcoming adaptation of former FBI head James Comey’s 2018 memoir, will be the first non-satirical depiction of our current president, though it certainly won’t be the last. Regardless, writer and director Billy Ray (Richard Jewell) knows he’ll soon fall in the crosshairs of the MAGA mob, provoked no doubt by a president who wouldn’t dare let this slip by without a few tweets. The release of the project’s first teaser means he’s at the beginning of a very long haul.
“I recognize that there is something for everyone to hate in this movie, and I know we’re going to be prejudged by a lot of people who think they know who Comey is, who think they know who Trump is, and who think they know exactly what happened in 2016,” Ray said in an interview with Vanity Fair. “And I understand how polarized the public is out there. And that’s fair.”
Of course, it’s probably Irish actor Brendan Gleeson who will bear the brunt of the blowback. Gleeson reportedly turned down the role for that very reason before finally coming around to it. And, as you might imagine with an actor as seasoned as Gleeson playing the president, Ray isn’t aiming to depict Trump as “a cartoon.”
“[E]verywhere that we could, we dialed it down,” he said. “We made the contrast between the bags under his eyes and the orange skin softer than it actually is. We made the hair a little less cartoonish than it actually is. We made the suits fit a little bit better. We went out of our way to play fair because we felt we owed that to the public.” Did they also have him run down the last 10 feet of a ramp? Because that’d be one way to endear him to your project.
The story, as you might have guessed, tracks Comey’s journey throughout the 2016 presidential campaign and its many scandals—specifically, Hillary Clinton’s emails and Trump’s ties to Russia—as well as the FBI director’s swift firing following Trump’s ascension to office. Jeff Daniels leads the cast alongside Gleeson as Comey.
Watch the first teaser below.
You can also check out some photos, including a clearer look at Gleeson’s Donald, below. You’ll also see Kingsley Ben-Adir as Obama, Michael Kelly as Andrew McCabe, Comey’s replacement, and Holly Hunter as Attorney General Sally Yates.
The Comey Rule comes to Showtime on September 27.