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Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Shannon to Star in Netflix Series About President Garfield Assassination

History nerds, this one is for us.

Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Shannon will star in “Death by Lightning” at Netflix. It’s “a drama retelling the rise of US President James Garfield (Shannon) and his subsequent assassination by Charles Guiteau (Macfadyen),” Netflix announced in a press release February 1.

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From creator Mike Makowsky (“Bad Education”), executive producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (“Game of Thrones”), and Matt Ross, who will direct all episodes, the show will be based on the novel “Destiny of the Republic” by Candice Millard.

The Netflix logline reads: “‘Death by Lightning’ is a drama series that brings to life the epic and stranger-than-fiction true story of James Garfield, reluctant 20th president of the United States, and his greatest admirer Charles Guiteau — the man who would come to kill him.”

In January, Macfadyen won another Emmy for his portrayal of Tom Wambsgans on HBO’s “Succession.” Michael Shannon was last seen on TV screens in Showtime’s “George & Tammy.”

At the end of “Succession,” Macfadyen told the NY Times, “I feel sometimes you can get in a rut when you play leading men,” he said. “It’s much more fun being the baddie or the clown.”

An airdate for “Death by Lightning” hasn’t been announced, but Netflix recently showcased their full 2024 slate, including return dates for “Squid Game,” “Bridgerton,” and more.

The Amazon description for the 2011 bestseller “Destiny of the Republic” reads, in part, “James Abram Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, a renowned congressman, and a reluctant presidential candidate who took on the nation’s corrupt political establishment. But four months after Garfield’s inauguration in 1881, he was shot in the back by a deranged office-seeker named Charles Guiteau. Garfield survived the attack, but become the object of bitter, behind-the-scenes struggles for power —over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care.”

Plenty to work with there.

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