Hulu’s The Looming Tower tackles terrorism and the lead up to 9/11 that was 60 years in the making, managing to pack the multifaceted subject into ten episodes. The result is as riveting as the subject matter. Based on the Lawrence Wright book of the same name, one White House insider called it the definitive crash course on Al Qaeda.
Tower co-stars Jeff Daniels as real-life/f-bomb dropping F.B.I agent John O’Neil, and Peter Sarsgaard as “Professor” Martin Schmidt, an amalgamation of C.I.A. agents. Director Craig Zisk was eager to give his writers much credit for the series success.
“Everyone knows how it ends, but most people don’t know how it began,” explained Zisk. “There’s a lot of information and they managed to make it accurate and entertaining.”
What viewers will learn is that it was the inability of the two agencies to communicate and share information that allowed America’s deadliest terrorist attack to take place. O’Neil, who reportedly often told his adversaries to suck various parts of his anatomy, believed in doing things by the book, while the C.I.A.’s approach was more bomb first, ask later.
“Because I read the book when it first came out, I felt a great responsibility to Larry’s material,” said Sarsgaard. “I felt a lot of anger at the way the agencies handled everything.”
Daniels, however, said that he came into the project with very little knowledge of the book, and had no idea who O’Neil was.
“I feel like I am a viewer, learning right along with the audience,” said Daniels. “What I learned is that these guys were the best and the brightest and we don’t have that now. That scares the shit out of me.”