Ryan Murphy, who started the current anthology series trend with American Horror Story and added a second hit franchise with American Crime Story, has set up a third anthology series at FX. The network has given a straight-to-series 8-episode order to Feud, which will explore famous feuds. It hails from Fox 21 TV Studios and Plan B, with Brad Pitt executive producing alongside Murphy.
The first installment of Feud will star former AHS leading lady Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, leading a high-profile cast that also includes Alfred Molina, Stanley Tucci, Judy Davis and Dominic Burgess. It 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 What Ever 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. Molina will play the film’s director Robert Aldrich, Tucci will portray studio titan Jack Warner, Davis will play gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and Dominic Burgess will be Crawford and Davis’ co-star Victor Buono.
The pilot is based in part on the script Best Actress by Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam which Murphy acquired. As he does on all of his series, Murphy will direct several episodes. Production on the first installment is slated to begin this fall for a 2017 premiere.
Feud is executive produced by Murphy and Plan B Entertainment’s Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner. The trio previously collaborated on Murphy’s 2014 Emmy-winning HBO movie The Normal Heart.
“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,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. ” The series will offer a seductive, insightful look at what lies behind legendary personality conflicts.”
Added Fox Television Group Chairmen and CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, “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 as flawlessly acted, wildly entertaining and fiercely provocative.”
Murphy and Lange most recently worked together on the 2016 Broadway revival of Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which just netted the duo their first Tony nominations.
Burgess is repped by Stone Manners Salners Agency and Muse Management.