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Jeff Daniels is returning to TV, and Hulu has dropped a first look at his next character: the chief of New York’s FBI counterterrorism unit at the center of its highly anticipated 9/11 drama, The Looming Tower.
The powerful trailer opens with a shot of the Twin Towers, followed by John O’Neill (Daniels) staring at a picture of the most wanted man in the world, Osama bin Laden. “What I need you for is to figure out what happens next, so we can stop it,” O’Neill tells a young FBI agent, played by Tahar Rahim.
Based on Lawrence Wright’s Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction book of the same name, The Looming Tower traces the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda in the late 1990s, exploring how the rivalry between the FBI and CIA may have inadvertently set the path for the tragedy of 9/11.
The series follows members of the I-49 squad in New York and the Alec Station in Washington, D.C. — the counterterrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively — as they travel the world fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward the same goal of trying to prevent an imminent attack on U.S. soil.
The 10-episode drama follows O’Neill, the determined, bullheaded chief who is rightly convinced that the U.S. has been targeted for attack by Al-Qaeda and who faces deliberately insufficient cooperation from other facets of the federal government, particularly from his counterpart at the CIA. The stellar cast also includes Alec Baldwin, Wrenn Schmidt, Bill Camp, Louis Cancelmi, Virginia Kull, Ella Rae Peck, Sullivan Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Peter Sarsgaard.
Oscar-nominated screenwriter Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher, Capote) wrote the adaptation and executive produced the Legendary Television series alongside Oscar- and Emmy-winning director Alex Gibney (Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief). Wright and Craig Zisk also exec produce the series.
The Looming Tower marks Daniels’ second limited series since wrapping his three-season, Emmy-winning run as Will McAvoy on HBO’s Aaron Sorkin drama The Newsroom. He most recently shifted genres for the Steven Soderbergh limited Netflix western Godless in September, filming both series throughout 2017.
“Coming off Newsroom, I really fell in love with the feeling that we were shooting, like in Newsroom’s case, a nine-hour movie. A beginning, a middle and an end,” Daniels told The Hollywood Reporter of his attraction to the limited-series model. “Acting, you get to do more: more colors, more details. That’s how you approach it when you have a story that unfolds over one season or over 10 episodes. Looming Tower is like that, and so is Godless.”
The Looming Tower premieres Feb. 28 on Hulu. Watch the trailer below.
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