One of Austin’s most acclaimed literary voices has a new gig: executive producer of a new Hulu drama series. The Looming Tower, a 10-episode adaptation of Austin-based author and New Yorker staff writer Lawrence Wright’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning nonfiction work, The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, debuts on small screens everywhere February 28.
The series follows the events leading up to September 11, focusing on members of counterterrorism task forces Squad I-49 in New York City and Alec Station in Washington, D.C. Jeff Daniels leads as FBI agent John O’Neill, who, along with agent Ali Soufon (Tahar Rahim), is investigating what they believe is an impending U.S. attack. They run into opposition from their CIA counterpoints, Martin Schmidt (Peter Sarsgaard) and Diane Marsh (Wrenn Schmidt), who are holding information that Al-Qaeda agents have entered American soil.
Wright is no stranger to adaptations. His one-man play, My Trip to Al-Qaeda, was made into an HBO documentary by Alex Gibney in 2010. Wright also has a producing credit for the Emmy Award-winning 2015 HBO documentary based on his 2013 smash-hit book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief.
The LBJ Presidential Library will host Wright for a special first episode sneak peek and conversation on February 27 at the LBJ Auditorium at 2313 Red River St. Joining the chat will be the real-life Ali Soufon and actor Michael Stuhlbarg (A Serious Man, Call Me By Your Name, The Shape of Water), who appears as White House Counterterrorism official Richard Clarke in the series.
Although not open to the public, those interested can become a member of the Friends of the LBJ Library online to gain access to the event.