Donald Trump’s unconventional presidential campaign and improbable victory over Hillary Clinton is getting a miniseries treatment by HBO. The project will chronicle Trump’s road to victory in the 2016 presidential election in one of the most stunning political upsets of all time. Jay Roach is on board to direct and executive produce, with Playtone’s Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman executive producing. The trio also worked together on the Emmy-winning 2012 HBO film Game Change, about the 2008 presidential campaign of John McCain — which, like Trump, featured an outsider and media star in VP candidate Sarah Palin.
The Trump miniseries will be based on Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s upcoming third installment of their Game Change series, which will be published by Penguin Press.
Halperin and Heilemann’s 2010 bestseller Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, was adapted into an HBO movie executive produced by Goetzman and Hanks, directed and executive produced by Roach, and starring Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson and Ed Harris. It went on to win five Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Miniseries or Movie.
There is no writer on board yet for the Trump miniseries. Game Change was adapted by Empire co-creator Danny Strong, who also wrote HBO’s previous Emmy-winning presidential election movie, 2008’s Recount, about the aftermath of the 2000 vote, also directed by Roach. HBO clearly feels Trump’s controversial run, marked by outrageous moves and scandals, needs more expansive treatment in a miniseries format vs. a movie like Game Change. Casting on the project is a ways off, but the Donald Trump role is certain to create a stir. Trump already has been impersonated by a number of actors, most famously by Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live.
This is the second scripted series about the 2016 election announced so far. The upcoming season of FX’s American Horror Story will be inspired by the election but won’t feature the characters of Trump and Clinton.
Halperin and Heilemann’s first Game Change book about the 2008 election was followed four years later by the bestselling sequel Double Down: Game Change 2012.
“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, whose work on their bestselling book Game Change set the bar for political reporting and storytelling inside a presidential campaign,” said Len Amato, president of HBO Films. “Reuniting Game Change director and executive producer Jay Roach and Playtone producers Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman with Mark and John for a project based on their upcoming book promises to vividly capture the most unique and impactful event in modern American politics.”