Hulu will be serving up likely awards bait with their upcoming 9/11 series The Looming Tower, and now they’ve added some solid star power as well. Jeff Daniels has signed on to co-star as a veteran FBI counter-terrorism agent convinced that trouble is headed for the States long before most will believe him.
The Looming Tower is based on Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 2006 book, which examines both the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the long road that led to them. Like the book, Hulu’s series will trace the rise of Al-Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden, and the men and women who were working to stop them. Daniels will play FBI agent John O’Neill, the chief of the FBI’s New York Counter-Terrorism unit.
It should be a meaty role. O’Neill is convinced, in the time leading up to the 9/11 attacks, that Al-Qaeda is actively planning to strike at the heart of the United States. Unfortunately, even when others believe him, he’s hampered by bureaucracy and interdepartmental squabbling with the CIA and other theoretical allies within the government. As reported in January, actor Tahar Rahim will star opposite Daniels as Ali Soufan, a young Muslim FBI agent who becomes protege to O’Neill thanks to his intelligence, fluency in Arabic, and determination to push back against those he sees as giving his religion a bad name.
The Looming Tower is being executive produced by Oscar nominee Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher), Oscar- and Emmy-winning documentary director Alex Gibney (Going Clear), and Wright himself. The cast also includes Bill Camp (Midnight Special) and Michael Stuhlbarg (Boardwalk Empire). There’s no announced release date for the show, but it’s said to be targeting a 2017 premiere on Hulu.
This will be Daniels’ first starring role in a TV series since his stint as anchorman Will McAvoy in Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama The Newsroom. That role earned him an Emmy. Maybe The Looming Tower will throw him another one.