Michael Chernus To Play Serial Killer John Wayne Gacy In Peacock’s True Crime Limited Series ‘Devil In Disguise’

Michael Chernus (Severance, Dead Ringers) has been tapped for the title role in Peacock’s limited drama series Devil In Disguise: John Wayne Gacy.

True crime veteran Patrick Macmanus (Dr. Death, The Girl From Plainville) serves as writer, executive producer and showrunner on the scripted series, inspired by the 2021 Peacock original docuseries John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise. It chronicles the harrowing crimes of one of America’s most notorious serial killers and the investigation that ultimately brought him down.

More from Deadline

From 1972-1978, thirty-three young men were kidnapped, murdered and buried in a crawl space beneath the house of their killer, Gacy, who went undetected for years because he was charming and funny, had a good, all-American job, was a community leader and even volunteered to entertain sick kids… while dressed as a clown.

Devil In Disguise: John Wayne Gacy peels back the twisted layers of Gacy’s life while weaving in the heartrending stories of his mostly gay victims; exploring the grief, guilt, and trauma of their families and friends; and exposing the systemic failures, missed opportunities and societal prejudices that fueled his reign of terror.

“I’m both excited and humbled by this opportunity,” Chernus said.

He went on to explain why he is taking on the role of Gacy.

“The direction that the writers are taking with this project is important, focusing on the victims and their families as well as those who finally brought John Wayne Gacy to justice,” he said. “While Gacy was the perpetrator of these horrific crimes, I’m relieved that he won’t be the main focus of the series. It’s heartbreaking for me to think of what his victims (all young men and boys) could have done with their lives had the system not failed them so tragically. I believe in the power of storytelling and hope that by telling this story, in a thoughtful way, we can play some part in preventing this from ever happening again.”

Macmanus and Kelly Funke executive produce for Littleton Road Productions, Noah Oppenheim and Liz Cole for NBC News Studios, which was behind the John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise docuseries, Ashley Michel Hoban (Dr. Death), and Ahmadu Garba (Dr. Death). UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, is the studio.

Chernus is repped by Authentic, UTA and Felker Toczek Suddleson.

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.