‘Succession’ Alum Matthew Macfadyen, Michael Shannon to Star in Netflix Series About President James Garfield’s Life & Assassination

Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Shannon are set to star in a Netflix series that will examine the rise and eventual assassination of US President James Garfield, Variety has learned.

The series is titled “Death by Lightning” and is based on the book “Destiny Of The Republic” by Candice Millard. The official logline states, “‘Death by Lightning’ is a drama series that brings to life the epic and stranger-than-fiction true story of James Garfield (Shannon), reluctant 20th president of the United States, and his greatest admirer Charles Guiteau (Macfadyen) — the man who would come to kill him.”

More from Variety

Mike Makowsky (“Bad Education”) is the creator of the series and serves as executive producer. David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bernie Caulfield (“Game of Thrones,” “3 Body Problem”) will executive produce via Bighead Littlehead, which is under an overall deal at Netflix. Matt Ross (“28 Hotel Rooms,” “Captain Fantastic”) will direct and executive produce the series.

News of Macfadyen’s casting comes just weeks after he won his second consecutive Emmy Award for best supporting actor in a drama for his work on the hit HBO series “Succession.” He was nominated in the same category for that series in 2020 as well. His work on “Succession” also won him a Golden Globe and a BAFTA Award. He is also known for his roles in films like 2005’s “Pride and Prejudice” and “Death at a Funeral.” He will next be seen in “Deadpool 3” and the Amazon film “Holland, Michigan.”

He is repped by Hamilton Hodell, UTA, Johnson Shapiro Slewett & Kole , and Wolf Kasteler.

Shannon has recently starred in TV series such as “George & Tammy” (for which he received an Emmy nomination), “Waco” and “Waco: The Aftermath,” and “Nine Perfect Strangers.” He has been nominated for two Academy Awards thus far in his career — one for “Nocturnal Animals” and another for “Revolutionary Road.” His other film roles include “The Shape of Water” and his many collaborations with Jeff Nichols on films like “Take Shelter,” “Midnight Special,” and “Mud.” Shannon and Nichols reteamed for the upcoming feature “The Bikeriders.”

Shannon is repped by CAA, Range Media Partners, Yorn Levine Barnes, and Narrative.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.