Michael Shannon and Matthew Macfadyen are set to star in an upcoming series for Netflix titled Death By Lightning. The series is about the assassination of President Garfield. Shannon will play Garfield and Macfadyen will play his killer Charles Guiteau.
The project is based on the book Destiny Of The Republic by Candice Millard and it will “bring to life the 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.”
Here’s the description of the book:
James A. 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, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.
But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what happened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in turmoil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his condition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet.
The series was written by Bad Education screenwriter Mike Makowsky, who created the series, and it will be directed by Matt Ross (Captain Fantastic) with Game of Thrones duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss executive producing.