Jeff Daniels to Star in Showtime Drama 'Rust'

Showtime has given a straight-to-series order for the drama Rust, with Jeff Daniels attached to star and executive produce.

Based on Philipp Meyer's novel American Rust, the series centers on Del Harris (Daniels), the complicated and compromised police chief of a town in southwestern Pennsylvania. When the son of the woman he loves is accused of murder, Harris must decide what he's willing to do to protect the young man.

Showtime's series order is the second for a project based on Meyer's book. USA Network gave a straight-to-series pickup to American Rust in 2017 but later scrapped the project — which had a cast contingency attached — after being unable to find a lead actor.

The new version has Oscar-nominated writer Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher, Capote), who worked with Daniels on Hulu's The Looming Tower, attached to pen multiple episodes and executive produce. Michael De Luca and Elisa Ellis of Platform One Media, who were executive producers of the scuttled USA show, will have the same roles on the Showtime series. Platform One, headed by CEO Katie O'Connell Marsh, will co-produce with Showtime.

The USA project's writers, Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, and studio UCP are no longer involved. 

"Jeff Daniels is a bona fide giant on stage and screen, and Dan Futterman is a special writer and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them together at Showtime," Showtime Entertainment co-president Gary Levine said Wednesday in a statement. "With vibrant characters caught in an unpredictable murder mystery, Rust will tell the relevant and touching human story of the corrosion of the American dream."

Daniels is a two-time Emmy winner (for HBO's The Newsroom and Netflix's Godless) and has been nominated three other times, including for The Looming Tower in 2018. He is repped by ICM and Martino Management.

Futterman was also a writer and executive producer on HBO's In Treatment and Fox's Gracepoint. As an actor, his credits include Judging Amy, Will & Grace and The Birdcage. He is repped by UTA and Principal Entertainment.

Rust joins a roster of Showtime scripted series that includes Billions, The Chi, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Kidding, Halo, City on a Hill, Black Monday, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels, The L Word: Generation Q, Work in Progress and On Becoming a God in Central Florida. Homeland and The Affair are entering their final seasons on the network.