The director of the cable movie version of fired FBI chief James Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty” flipped his lid after learning that the flick would air after the November election — and now ViacomCBS says it will reconsider the decision and move up the air date.
Both Comey and the director, Billy Ray, said they were disappointed in the earlier decision to delay the flick, called “The Comey Rule,” the New York Times reported Tuesday.
“I don’t understand why CBS would sit on a movie about important current events, and I hope the American people get the chance to see it soon,” Comey said in a statement.
In an email to cast members Monday, Ray also lamented the decision, according to a copy obtained by Deadline.
“I know what a disappointment this is to you. It is for me too — because while I’ve made movies about my country before, this was the first time I ever made a movie for my country. We all were hoping to get this story in front of the American people months before the coming election. And that was a reasonable expectation considering that we’d been given a mandate by the network to do whatever was necessary to deliver by May 15,” Ray wrote.
“But at some point in March or April, that mandate changed. Word started drifting back to me that a decision about our airdate had been made at the very highest levels of Viacom: all talk of our airing before the election was suddenly a ‘non-starter.’ I and my fellow producers asked for a chance to plead our case on the matter, but we were told that even the discussion itself was a ‘non-starter,” he continued.
“Why? I don’t know. The health of a media company depends on attracting audiences — and our movie, aired in August of an election year, would have been very big news. Can you imagine the billboards? Comey Vs. Trump! A cast loaded with Emmy winners! Yet here we are. I am deeply sorry that I didn’t win this one.”
But since he sent his email, ViacomCBS seems to be having second thoughts.
“We will be announcing several changes to our schedule and ‘The Comey Rule’ is most likely moving to air before the election,” a spokeswoman for Showtime, on whose platform the movie will air, said Tuesday.
The flick stars Jeff Daniels as Comey, who served as the top G-man from 2013 until Trump fired him in May 2017.
The president is played by Brendan Gleeson, an Irish actor known for his portrayal of Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody in the “Harry Potter” movies.
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