The Oscar winner will star in the HBO network's six-hour event, based on author Jon Meachman's biography American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House.

The drama will centre on Jackson's journey from humble beginnings as an orphan to his role as a beloved leader, who became known as the country’s first "People's President".

Penn will also executive produce the series, which will mark his first major role on TV, after guest appearances on shows such as Friends, Two and a Half Men, and Little House on the Prairie.