EXCLUSIVE: For those concerned that the 4-hour CBS Studios miniseries based on James Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty might be a glowing portrait of the ex-FBI Director fired by Donald Trump: the series will include the embarrassing incident where FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page — who were reportedly engaged in an extramarital affair — exchanged texts when Strzok was spearheading the Russia probe that reportedly disparaged Trump and favored Hillary Clinton during the presidential elections. It was a major embarrassment to the bureau Comey oversaw.
Rescue Me‘s Steven Pasquale has just been set to play Strzok and Oona Chaplin (Game of Thrones) to play Page. They join Jeff Daniels (Comey), Brendan Gleeson (Trump), Holly Hunter (Acting Attorney General Sally Yates), Michael Kelly (Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe), Jennifer Ehle (Patrice Comey), and Peter Coyote (Robert Mueller).
Peter Coyote To Play Robert Mueller In 'A Higher Loyalty,' CBS Studios Limited Series On James Comey
Billy Ray adapted and is directing the limited series, which begins shooting next month. The seventh director of the FBI, Comey served from 2013-17, and his book covered his role in helping to change the Bush administration’s policies on torture and electronic surveillance to overseeing the Hillary Clinton email investigation as well as possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, and before that his tenure as a prosecutor of terrorists, mobsters and Martha Stewart. Of course, a big part of the narrative and focus of the mini is his testy relationship with and eventual firing by President Trump.
Comey has publicly said that the duo damaged the bureau and Strzok was fired. He recently filed a wrongful termination suit against the FBI and Department of Justice, arguing that his text messages — sent through his FBI issued phone — were protected free speech. Strzok believes he is protected on First Amendment grounds and should be awarded back pay and reinstated.
Said Ray: “Lisa Page and Peter Strzok are complicated people who were central to a complicated moment in our history. I feel lucky to have such brilliant actors playing them.”
CBS will set an airdate and decide whether to broadcast it on Showtime, CBS All Access or both. Alex Kurtzman, Shane Salerno and Heather Kadin are the executive producers. The mini is produced by Secret Hideout, The Story Factory and Home Run Productions in association with CBS Television Studios.
Pasquale, who is repped by UTA and Brookside Artist Management, most recently starred opposite Kerry Washington in Kenny Leon’s Broadway production of American Son, and has reprised his role for the upcoming Netflix adaptation. He’ll next be seen on stage in Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Assassins revival.
Chaplin recently wrapped shooting a starring role in James Cameron’s Avatar franchise for Fox, and was last seen starring opposite Jamie Dornan and Peter Dinklage in HBO’s Sacha Gervasi-directed My Dinner with Herve. She also starred as Rob Stark’s wife in Game of Thrones, until that dreaded Red Wedding episode. Chaplin is repped by Troika and Magnolia Entertainment.
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