FX has given a nine-episode order to Mrs. America, a timely limited series starring Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning actor Cate Blanchett in her first role on American television. The series hails from Emmy-winning writer Davhi Waller (Mad Men), Oscar-nominated producer Stacey Sher (Django Unchained, Erin Brockovich) and FX Productions. Blanchett also executive produces Mrs. America with Sher; Waller, who also serves as showrunner; and Coco Francini (The Hateful Eight). Production is scheduled to begin in 2019.
Mrs. America tells the true story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, and the unexpected backlash led by a conservative woman named Phyllis Schlafly, played by Blanchett. Through the eyes of the women of that era — both Schlafly and second-wave feminists Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug and Jill Ruckelshaus — the series explores how one of the toughest battlegrounds in the culture wars of the ’70s helped give rise to the Moral Majority and forever shifted our political landscape.
“I feel privileged to have this opportunity to collaborate with Dahvi, Stacey and Coco under the robust and fearless FX umbrella,” said Blanchett. “I am extremely excited about delving into the material as there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to peel back the layers of this recent period of history, which couldn’t be more relevant today.”
Added Sher: “We are extremely fortunate to be making this series with the fearless John Landgraf and the incredible team at FX, who never flinch in the face of provocative subject matter. This country has literally been discussing women’s rights for over 100 years and this story is as timely and relevant to the times we live in as it was during the tumultuous and passionate period in which it took place.”
This is the second limited series FX has greenlighted with top feature talent on board, following the Bob Fosse/Gwen Verdon limited series starring Michelle Williams and Sam Rockwell.
Two-time Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, SAG and Independent Spirit winner Blanchett most recently starred in Ocean’s 8 and The House With a Clock in Its Walls. Next year, she will star in Where’d You Go Bernadette and will guest star as a Marina Abramovic-type performance artist in an upcoming episode of IFC’s Documentary Now! Blanchett most recently was nominated for a Tony for her role in The Present and will next be seen in the National Theatre’s production of When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other. She also is co-founder and president of the Dirty Films production company with her husband, writer and director Andrew Upton. Blanchett is repped by CAA.
Waller is an Emmy- and WGA-winning writer and producer for her work on AMC’s Mad Men. Most recently, she served as a writer and co-executive producer on AMC’s Halt and Catch Fire. She also was a writer on ABC’s Desperate Housewives and Eli Stone. Waller is repped by UTA and Ziffren Brittenham.
Sher is a two-time Oscar nominee for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich. She has produced more than two dozen motion pictures amassing nearly $2.2 billion at the global box office including Pulp Fiction, The Hateful Eight, Out of Sight, Contagion, Reality Bites and Get Shorty. Here television producing credits include Into The Badlands, Sweet/Vicious and Reno 911. Sher is also Co-President of Activision Blizzard Studios, the world’s largest producer of video games.
Francini served as a producer on Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight and Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here, and is a producer on the upcoming Call of Duty film based on the game franchise. She currently serves as VP of Activision Blizzard Studios where she leads creative development and production of film and television content. Francini is also executive producer of Activision Studios’ animated Netflix series Skylanders based on the game franchise, and is developing both a TV series and feature film based on Blizzard’s Overwatch.