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Paul Bettany to play the Unabomber in Discovery's Manifesto

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Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Paul Bettany is going dark for his first major TV role: The Avengers actor will play the notorious criminal known as the Unabomber on Discovery Channel’s Manifesto.

Manifesto is a scripted series based on the true story of FBI agent Jim “Fitz” Fitzgerald and the radical new linguistic methods he employed to discover the identity of the Unabomber (a.k.a. Ted Kaczynski), the terrorist who targeted victims with homemade bombs between 1978 and 1995 in the U.S. The title comes from The Manifesto, an account of Kaczynski’s plots that Fitzgerald believes is the key to putting him behind bars.

Greg Yaitanes (Quarry, Banshee) will executive produce, direct, and serve as showrunner, and Andrew Sodroski will write. Manifesto is produced by Kevin Spacey and Dana Brunetti’s Trigger Street, with both men serving as executive producers. The real Jim Fitzgerald will be a Consulting Producer. The show is part of a push to add a selection of scripted shows to Discovery Channel.

Manifesto is set to air in 2017.