The dominant qualities that define James Comey will likely vary depending on whom you ask and how they feel about the outcome of the last presidential election. But there’s one thing nobody can debate: The man is tall and therefore needs a suitably tall actor to play him in the upcoming miniseries adaptation of his book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership. Enter Jeff Daniels, who may not reach the former FBI director’s towering 6’8” stature but is a distinctive 6’3” and has played a blustering, self-righteous newsman for Aaron Sorkin, which adds at least four extra inches to one’s height. And who will Daniels have that awkward dinner with when his Comey is asked by the president of the United States to stop investigating his Cabinet members for their contacts with the Russian government? It will be Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump, whose many possible qualities we simply do not have time to get into here.
Captain Phillips screenwriter Billy Ray adapted the book and will also direct the series. The scope of Loyalty covers Comey’s four-year tenure as head of the FBI, which started in 2013 and ended in 2017, after he was fired by Trump. So, within all that you have the Clinton-email controversy and the role he may or may not have played in Trump’s securing the White House. A … tall order indeed.
Update: Additional casting has been announced for the four-hour series. Michael Kelly will play acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, and Jennifer Ehle will play Comey’s wife, Patrice.
Update 6/23/20: The miniseries, titled The Comey Rule, will “likely” air before Election Day on Nov. 3. Showtime previously announced the series would air in late November, prompting disappointment from Ray and Comey himself, who said in a statement, “I don’t understand why CBS would sit on a movie about important current events, and I hope the American people get the chance to see it soon.”