Michael Chernus to Star as John Wayne Gacy in Peacock’s ‘Devil in Disguise’

Michael Chernus will star as notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy in Peacock’s upcoming series, “Devil in Disguise: John Wayne Gacy,” the streamer announced Thursday.

The “Severance” actor will lead the limited drama series, which centers on Gacy, the infamous killer who kidnapped and murdered 33 young men between 1972 and 1978, as well as the rigorous investigation that ultimately brought him down, per the official logline.

“Devil in Disguise” will peel back the layers on Gacy’s life, examining his charismatic and misleading facade as a community leader and clown. The series will also weave 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,” the streamer noted.

Chernus, who is also known for his roles in “Orange Is the New Black,” “Dead Ringers,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming” and “Patriot,” emphasized his satisfaction with the show’s direction, saying he hopes “by telling this story, in a thoughtful way, we can play some part in preventing this from ever happening again.”

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

Produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, the scripted and dramatized series is inspired by the 2021 Peacock docuseries produced by NBC News Studios, titled “John Wayne Gacy: Devil in Disguise.”

Patrick Macmanus (“Dr. Death,” “The Girl From Plainville”) serves as showrunner and writer, and executive produces for Littleton Road Productions alongside Kelly Funke. Additional EPs include Noah Oppenheim (“The Maze Runner,” “Jackie”) and Liz Cole for NBC News Studios, Ashley Michel Hoban (“Dr. Death,” “The Girl From Plainville”) and Ahmadu Garba (“Dr. Death,” “Halo”).

Chernus is represented by Authentic, United Talent Agency and Felker Toczek Suddleson Abramson McGinnis Ryan LLP.

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