Anthology series re-inventor, Ryan Murphy, has reunited with his muse. Jessica Lange will star on Murphy’s new show Feud, which FX has already ordered to series. Lange’s headlining co-star? Just a newcomer … called Susan Sarandon! Yes, the TV Gods listened, and Oscar-winner Susan Sarandon will grace our TV sets every week. Even if it’s only for eight weeks.
The good news isn’t over. Feud will explore famous real-life feuds, so we will see – as we did with The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story – real people portrayed by incredible performers. Jessica Lange will play Joan Crawford and Susan Sarandon will play her nemesis, Bette Davis.
As if this couldn’t get any better, Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis and Dominic Burgess will also star in the first season of the anthology series.
Feud will be based on the script Best Actress by Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam and will tell the story of how Joan Crawford and Bette Davis tried to put their famous rivalry behind them to make a film they both hoped would renew their aging careers. That film would be 1962’s What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? The film was a success in every sense: it was a box office hit, critics loved it and it was nominated for five Academy Awards. Bette Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the movie, but Crawford was not. That, plus the hell they apparently put each other through while filming the movie, only consolidated their status as legendary adversaries.
Alfred Molina will portray Robert Aldrich who directed the film; Stanley Tucci will play Jack Warner, president of Warner Bros. Studios; Judy Davis will be gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and Dominic Burgess will depict Victor Buona, the enemies’ co-star in the film.
Feud will be executive produced by Murphy, Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner (12 Years a Slave, The Normal Heart, Selma). Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon will also be behind the scenes, co-producing. Ryan Murphy will also be directing several episodes of the limited series.
John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks, said in a statement: "Ryan keeps re-inventing TV. Nip/Tuck brilliantly extended the boundaries of ad-supported television. Glee re-imagined the television musical. American Horror Story pioneered the modern anthological series, which has rapidly transformed the television landscape and been widely copied. The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story was recognized by many as the best and most talked about new show this year. And all of those shows have been award-winning ratings hits. Feud adds a third and equally ambitious franchise to Ryan's unprecedented slate of FX anthological limited series and marks our third such collaboration with studio partner 20th Century Fox Television/Fox 21. The series will offer a seductive, insightful look at what lies behind legendary personality conflicts."
Fox Television Group chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman wrote the following joint statement: "Ryan revolutionized the modern anthology with the American Horror Story and American Crime Story franchises, and he's come up with another gem in Feud. With Jessica and Susan headlining, it's already sure to be flawlessly acted, wildly entertaining and fiercely provocative. It's a fantastic project which only Ryan Murphy could deliver."
Production for Feud is set to begin this fall. The series will be released in 2017. And we can’t wait.