FX and Ryan Murphy continue their partnership with a new anthology series focusing on epic feuds. Feud season one will delve into the legendary feud between Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? co-stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Murphy’s award-winning American Horror Story star Jessica Lange will take on the role of Joan Crawford and Oscar winner Susan Sarandon will play Bette Davis in the eight episode first season. Per FX’s official announcement, Alfred Molina will play director Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci is studio head Jack Warner, Judy Davis is gossip columnist Hedda Hopper, and Dominic Burgess has been cast as Davis and Crawford’s co-star Victor Buono.
Murphy created the series, is directing a few episodes, and executive produces along with Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner. Murphy and Michael Zam purchased Jaffe Cohen’s Best Actress script which serves as part of the basis for the show’s pilot. Filming’s expected to get underway later this year, with FX targeting a 2017 premiere.
Murphy’s had a string of successes including Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story (the series that launched the current wave of TV anthologies), and American Crime Story: The People v O.J. Simpson. “Ryan keeps re-inventing TV,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “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.”
The Plot: The first installment of Feud stars Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon and tells the story of the legendary rivalry between two of the greatest movie stars of all time—Joan Crawford (Lange) and Bette Davis (Sarandon), and how they came together in 1962 to collaborate on a picture each hoped would revive their careers. The result, the critically acclaimed and box office smash Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? ultimately received five Academy Awards nominations and became a cult classic. But for its leads, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, the real horror was working together.