Nick Offerman and Betty Gilpin join cast of Death by Lightning (everything we know so far)

Death by Lightning will chronicle the presidency of James Garfield and his eventual assassination.
2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards  - Backstage
2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Backstage / Amanda Edwards/GettyImages

Hot off his award-winning run on the acclaimed HBO drama Succession, star Matthew Mcfadyen has booked an exciting new role in the upcoming Netflix series Death by Lightning, in which he'll co-star alongside Emmy-nominated actor Michael Shannon.

On February 29, Variety reported that Netflix had cast Nick Offerman and Betty Gilpin in leading roles. Offerman will play the President's vice president (and eventual successor) Chester A. Arthur, while Gilpin has been cast as Garfield's wife, the First Lady Crete Garfield.

The upcoming Netflix Original, titled Death by Lightning, is based on the book Destiny Of The Republic by Candice Millard and comes from creator Mike Makowsky and director Matt Ross, who is onboard to direct all episodes. The series will be executive produced by Game of Thrones producers David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Bernie Caulfield via Bighead Littlehead Productions. Weiss and Benioff will also debut their next buzzy sci-fi series 3 Body Problem on Netflix this March.

Ross' previous directing credits include Gaslit, Silicon Valley, and Captain Fantastic. Creative Mike Makowsky is best known for writing the HBO film Bad Education, which debuted in 2019.

What is the series about?

Death by Lightning will function as a dramatic retelling about former US President James Garfield and his rise to the top along with his subsequent assassination at the hands of Charles Guiteau. Macfadyen will play Guiteau while Shannon will portray President Garfield.

Apart from Succession, Macfadyen's other credits include Stonehouse, Netflix's Operation Mincemeat, and the upcoming Marvel film Deadpool 3. Shannon is known for his work in movies like The Shape of Water, Nocturnal Animals, and Revolutionary Road.

Here is the logline shared by the streamer:

"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."

Nick Offerman and Betty Gilpin have joined the upcoming Netflix historical drama series “Death by Lightning,” Variety has learned.

We don't have much more information to share about the series just yet as it was only recently announced by Netflix. It seems unlikely that the series will premiere on Netflix until 2025 at the earliest. Stay tuned to Netflix Life for more information about Death by Lightning as we learn more.

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