Jeff Daniels won an Emmy as the anchor of a fictional newscast on “The Newsroom.” Now comes word that he is to star in “The Looming Tower,” a docudrama detailing the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The Hulu series is based on Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name that delved into the origins of al Qaeda.
Daniels will portray FBI counter-terrorism expert John O’Neill, one of the first officials to assert that Osama bin Laden was planning a terrorism attack on American soil. Oscar winning documentarian Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) is to direct the 10 episodes with Oscar nominated screenwriter Dan Futterman (“Foxcatcher”) adapting Wright’s bestseller. Wright, Gibney and Futterman are all executive producers of the show that could debut by year’s end.
French actor Tahar Rahim (“A Prophet”) is to portray Ali Soufan, who quickly becomes O’Neill’s right-hand man after joining the bureau. His knowledge of Islam and ability to speak Arabic prove invaluable after the terrorist attack.
Daniels won an Emmy as Best Drama Actor for the first season of HBO’s “The Newsroom” in 2013. He then contended for each of the other two seasons of the Aaron Sorkin series. And Gibney picked up an Emmy in 2013 for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking for “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” and three in 2015 for writing, directing and producing the documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”