‘The Looming Tower’ is an American drama web series that is based on the 2006 nonfiction book by Lawrence Wright, titled, ‘The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11’. The show airs on Hulu and first premiered on February 28, 2018. The series has been created by Wright himself along with Dan Futterman, and perhaps one of the most important documentarians of our time, Alex Gibney, who is famous for works like ‘Taxi to the Dark Side’ and ‘Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God’.
The show became an internet sensation with its gritty and realistic exploration of radical Islamic terrorism in the early 2000s. The now deceased kingpin, Osama Bin Laden’s monopoly and influence over global matters take precedence in the narrative of the series. Laden became the most recognizable name in the history of terrorism, after 9/11 attacks, which he masterminded. The show explores the events leading up to the September 11 attacks.
Critics received the show very favorably, saying, “Well-acted and powerfully written, ‘The Looming Tower’ delivers gripping counter-terrorism drama rendered even more soberingly effective through its roots in real-life events.”
The Looming Tower Cast: Who is in it?
The cast of ‘The Looming Tower’ is led by Jeff Daniels, of ‘The Newsroom’ and ‘Dumb and Dumber’ fame, who stars as John O’Neill. O’Neill was the head of the counterterrorism unit for the FBI and was sure that Al Qaeda was planning to attack the US, but faced opposition from several government agencies, especially the CIA. Speaking of the secretive agency, we see Wrenn Schmidt, from ‘Boardwalk Empire‘ and ‘The Americans‘, in the role of Diane Marsh. She is a CIA analyst under Martin Schmidt, and like her boss, she believes that the CIA is uniquely positioned to stop terrorist attacks. Martin’s role is played by Peter Sarsgaard of ‘Wormwood‘ fame. Schmidt is at loggerheads with John since he believes that the CIA is better equipped at handling terrorist attacks and thus withholds information from the FBI. This character is based on real life CIA Officer Michael Scheuer. Tahar Rahim stars as Ali Soufan, a Muslim Lebanese-American FBI agent on John O’Neill’s I-49 counterterrorism squad who eventually becomes his protégé. Bill Camp as Robert Chesney, an FBI veteran in New York’s counterterrorism unit.
The Looming Tower Plot: What is it about?
‘The Looming Tower’ follows “the rising threat of Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida in the late ’90s and how a rivalry between the FBI and CIA during the time period may have inadvertently set the path for the attacks of 9/11. The series follows members of the I-49 Squad in New York and Alec Station in Washington, D.C. — the counter-terrorism divisions of the FBI and CIA, respectively- as they travel around the world, fighting for ownership of information while seemingly working toward a common goal of preventing an imminent attack on American soil.”