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There Is Nothing Less Appealing Right Now Than a Movie About Donald Trump and James Comey


Brendan Gleeson as President Donald J. Trump in THE COMEY RULE. Photo Credit: Courtesy of CBS Television Studios/SHOWTIME.

It’s a cliché to say that movies about current events from our own lifetime are coming out “too soon,” but a movie about Donald Trump and James Comey set to debut at election time? Yeah. Too soon. And also, too much, because honestly, any extra screentime for our worst president ever feels like too much, even if he’ll be portrayed as the monster he is.

The movie in question is The Comey Rule, from Showtime. The premium cable network just released the first look (as seen above) at Brendan Gleeson as Donald Trump in the four-hour series, which will also star Jeff Daniels as James Comey. The film, based on Comey’s own book, A Higher Loyalty, will go into the 2016 investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email server, led by Comey, and then examine the conflicts between Comey and Trump in the early days of the evil times Trump administration.

I … do not want this.

I don’t want to be reminded of what Comey did in October of 2016. On the 28th of October, the FBI director sent a letter to congress to Congress saying the bureau had learned of emails that might be pertinent to the (bogus) investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. That letter pretty much cost Hillary Clinton the election, and I don’t really feel the need to be reminded of the gut-churning terror many of us felt when Comey dropped that bomb: the sudden knowledge that the worst man ever might just win the White House.

Comey is one of the reasons we have Trump, and I’m honestly not interested in watching four hours about how deeply he screwed up and how he continued to fail America once Trump was in office. Sure, he stood up to the orange menace at a certain point, but it was too little too late.

Now, The Comey Rule is set to debut on Showtime after the election, and that’s good. Having to even consider a Donald Trump movie before voters return to the polls would be an even more horrible prospect. But it’s also potentially horrible to think about this thing being on the air after potential reelection for Trump. That’s a very real possibility, even though it chills me to consider it. (Although considering it is an important step in avoiding a 2016 repeat!)

But a movie about how Trump stole the election after he potentially steals another … jeez, read the room, Showtime. Of course, if Trump loses, it’s a different story, but we can’t bet on that.

I don’t object to movies about bad people or complex, uncomfortable history, and the cast and director (Billy Ray of Captain Phillips) isn’t bad at all, in fact, Brendan Gleeson is a great actor as is Jeff Daniels. But what I do find objectionable about The Comey Rule is that it really is too soon for this. It’s telling a select chapter of a story that is far from finished.

We are still living through the terrible consequences of James Comey’s actions, and I am not alone in having zero interest in re-litigating and reliving trauma while we’re still in the midst of it.

(via EW, image: CBS Television Studios/SHOWTIME)

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Jessica Mason (she/her) is a writer based in Portland, Oregon with a focus on fandom, queer representation, and amazing women in film and television. She's a trained lawyer and opera singer as well as a mom and author.