‘Death by Lightning’: Netflix Sets Drama Series Starring Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon And Matthew Macfadyen Cast In Netflix Limited Series

Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Shannon – Picture Credit: Josh Wool and Juankr

Netflix has just revealed that it’s ordered a new drama series called Death By Lighting, with Matthew Macfadyen and Michael Shannon leading the cast.

The plot is based on the true story of James Garfield, a US president most history buffs may not remember. That’s likely because he had a very short run while in office from March 1881 through September. Despite only being elected president for that short period, he managed to change America in his short months in office. This new drama will tell his brief story of when he was in office and his subsequent assassination by Charles Guiteau.

It’s based on the novel Destiny Of The Republic by Candice Millard. Netflix first optioned the book back in July 2019 with Slater Hall Productions attached in mid-2021.

Matthew Macfadyen, coming off his hit HBO series Succession, for which he scooped multiple Emmy nominations, will play the assassin Charles Guiteau. Macfadyen can currently be found in the partial Netflix Original movie Operation Mincemeat.

Michael Shannon (Waco, Nocturnal Animal) will play the former US President James Garfield. To date, this is his first major Netflix Original project.

We hear that production on the new series, which hasn’t got a confirmed episode count yet, is penciled to begin sometime in late Spring/early Summer in Budapest, Hungary.


Who’s behind Death by Lightning for Netflix?

Mike Makowsky And Matt Ross Death By Lightning Netflix

Pictured: Mike Makowsky (left) And Matt Ross (right) -Credit: Jana Williams and Phyllis Grant

Serving as showrunner, writer, and executive producer for the project is Mike Makowsky, best known for his hit HBO movie Bad Education but also worked on Take Me (2017) and I Think We’re Alone Now (2018).

Serving as director on the entire series and also an executive producer is Matt Ross, best known for working on 28 Hotel Rooms, Captain Fantastic, and Gaslit.

Serving as executive producers on the project are David Benioff and D.B. Weiss via their production company Bighead, Littlehead, who are under an overall deal with Netflix and are about to release their first major project for the streamer: 3 Body Problem.


Shannon is represented at CAA, Range Media Partners, Yorn, Levine, Barnes, Krintzman, Rubenstein, Kohner, Endlich & Gellman, and Narrative.


Are you looking forward to watching Death by Lightning on Netflix? Let us know in the comments down below.

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