EXCLUSIVE: Billy Ray has found his Barack Obama for the CBS Studios miniseries adaptation of the James Comey bestseller A Higher Loyalty, which began production last week in Toronto and DC. Kingsley Ben-Adir has been set to play the former U.S. President; Spotlight‘s Brian d’Arcy James will play Mark Giuliano, the former FBI Deputy Director; Steve Zissis (HBO’s Togetherness) is set to play Jim Baker, the former FBI General Counsel, and Shawn Doyle (House of Cards and Fargo) will play Bill Priestap, the assistant director of the FBI Counterintelligence Division.
Ben-Adir has starred in The OA, Peaky Blinders and Deep State and next stars opposite Zoe Kravitz in High Fidelity. He’s also part of the ensemble cast for Noelle for Disney +.
The quartet joins Jeff Daniels (Comey), Brendan Gleeson (Donald Trump), Holly Hunter (Acting Attorney General Sally Yates), Michael Kelly (Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe), Jennifer Ehle (Patrice Comey), Peter Coyote (Robert Mueller), Steven Pasquale (Peter Strzok) and Oona Chaplin (Lisa Page).
Ray adapted and is directing the limited series. 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.
“I feel humbled by the wealth of talent in this cast,” Ray said. “And I’m touched that so many great actors want to be a part of this story.”
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.
Ben-Adir is repped by CAA and Conway Van Gelder Grant in the U.K; James is repped by Gersh, Thruline Entertainment, and Frankfurt Kurnit; Zissis is UTA, Mosaic and Ziffren Brittenham; and Doyle is The Characters Agency in Toronto, Kohner Agency, Magnolia Entertainment.