Movie Reviews

‘The First Lady’ Series Recruits Kiefer Sutherland as Franklin D. Roosevelt

Kiefer Sutherland is getting political for his next big role as a former president of the United States. The veteran actor, who previously played a man who becomes the president in Designated Survivor, has been tapped to play President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Showtime’s upcoming anthology series The First Lady. Aaron Cooley created the series and will also write several of the episodes as well.

Set through multiple time periods, The First Lady delves into the history of American leadership through the point of view of some of history’s most revered First Ladies. The series stars Viola Davis as Michelle Obama, Gillian Anderson as Eleanor Roosevelt, and Michelle Pfeiffer as Betty Ford, the three of whom will be the primary focus of the first season. Also set for the cast are Aaron Eckhart as President Gerald Ford, O-T Fagbenle as President Barack Obama, and Dakota Fanning as Susan Elizabeth Ford.

In addition to starring, Davis also executive produces alongside Cooley, showrunner Cathy Schulman, director Susanne Bier (The Undoing), Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Jeff Gaspin, and Brad Kaplin. Showtime and Lionsgate Television are producing.

“Throughout our history, presidents’ spouses have wielded remarkable influence, not only on the nation’s leaders but on the country itself,” Jana Winograde, Showtime’s president of entertainment, said in a previously-released statement about the series. “The First Lady fits perfectly within the Showtime wheelhouse of drama and politics, revealing how much personal relationships impact both domestic and global events.”

Of having Viola Davis playing her in the series, Michelle Obama also told Entertainment Tonight: “I feel that I’m not worthy. I wish I could be better to live up to the character that Viola has to play, but it’s exciting. Anything Viola does, she does it with passion and vigor, and I know she will do no less for this role.”

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, commonly referred to as FDR, is widely regarded as one of American history’s greatest leaders. The 32nd president of the United States, Roosevelt served from 1933 until his death in 1945, making him the only president to serve for more than two terms. This all came after he was paralyzed in 1921, due to an illness that left him in a wheelchair but hadn’t slowed him down at all.

Kiefer Sutherland might be best known for his role as Jack Bauer, a character who became a household name after he was portrayed by Kiefer Sutherland on 24. The role won Sutherland an Emmy along with a Golden Globe. He is also known for his successful movie career, with his role as a vampire in The Lost Boys standing out as a particular favorite for many of his fans. He also starred as President Tom Kirkman on Designated Survivor with some of his other movie credits including Young Guns, A Time to Kill, Dead Heat, and Flatliners.

A premiere date hasn’t yet been set by Showtime for The First Lady. Meanwhile, Sutherland can next be seen in an upcoming spy drama series for Paramount+ from Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. The actor also serves as an executive producer for the untitled series. This news comes to us from Deadline.

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