Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Brendan Gleeson's playing Trump in a miniseries based on James Comey's memoir

Illustration for article titled Brendan Gleesons playing Trump in a miniseries based on James Comeys memoir
Photo: Brendan Gleeson (Rich Polk/Getty Images); Donald Trump (Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A lot of actors are going to play Donald Trump as Hollywood begins mining this nightmare of a timeline for stories dramatic, comedic, and otherwise. As Alec Baldwin and Anthony Atamanuik hold things down on their end, it’s likely no shortage of dramatic powerhouses see in Trump an Oscar or, at the very least, a fame-making tweet from our commander-in-chief. Today, the first of them has arrived. Deadline reports that Brendan Gleeson, the acclaimed Irish actor you’ve seen in everything from Harry Potter to Braveheart to Paddington 2 will play our messy president in a new miniseries based on James Comey’s 2018 memoir, A Higher Loyalty.

Gleeson, his hefty Irish brogue having transformed into something nasally and garbled, will square off against Jeff Daniels’ Comey in the miniseries, which is said to focus in large part on the “testy relationship” between the two. Comey, as you might remember, was fired by Trump in May of 2017, resulting in a whole mess of bullshit.

Billy Ray, who previously penned scripts for based-on-true-events dramas like Captain Phillips and Richard Jewell, adapted Comey’s A Higher Loyalty into a four-hour series. In addition to Comey’s relationship with Trump, it will also touch on Comey’s broader career, including his role in the Bush administration and his time as a prosecutor.


“It’s hard to imagine a bigger acting challenge than playing Donald Trump,” Ray said in a statement. “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. Oh, and you have to be spectacularly talented and watchable. Not many actors check all those boxes. Brendan does. I’m ecstatic about this.”

We are, too. Gleeson is wonderful, and currently killing it on the Audience Network’s underwatched Mr. Mercedes. Don’t expect it for a spell, though, as filming will begin next month. Produced by CBS Television Studios, it will air on Showtime or CBS All Access.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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