After months of negotiations, FX has given the green light to a an untitled Fosse/Verdon eight-episode limited series starring Oscar winner Sam Rockwell and Oscar nominee Michelle Williams. The high-profile project hails from a trio of Broadway heavyweights, Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Thomas Kail and Dear Evan Hansen‘s Steven Levenson, Fox 21 TV Studios and FX Prods.
Based on Fosse, the biography written by Sam Wasson, the limited series tells the story of the singular romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. He was a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographers and directors, she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. (you can watch one of their classic dance numbers under the post.) Together they changed the face of American entertainment – at a perilous cost. Featuring Fosse’s choreography, the series explores the hidden corners of show business, the price of pursuing greatness, and the suffering inflicted in the name of art.
“We are over the moon about this dream team we’ve assembled for this incredible series,” said FX’s Nick Grad. “Tommy, Steven, and Lin are the perfect team to tell the story of Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, and we’re so thrilled to have Sam and Michelle playing these iconic roles.”
Kail, Levenson, Miranda, Rockwell, Williams and George Stelzner are executive producing the series. Levenson, who will serve as showrunner, wrote the premiere episode which will be directed by Kail.
“Bob Fosse ignited a revolution in American dance, theater, and film. But, in contrast to the well-worn myth of the visionary artist working in solitude, Fosse’s work would not have been possible without Gwen Verdon, the woman who helped to mold his style – and make him a star,” Kail, Levenson and Miranda said. “We are honored to work with the incredible team at FX and Fox 21, and these two extraordinary actors, to tell the story of this remarkable couple, and the complicated, fascinating relationship between them.”
Actress, dancer and producer Nicole Fosse, and daughter of Fosse and Verdon, serves as co-executive producer and oversees The Verdon Fosse Legacy. Co-producer Andy Blankenbuehler is the Choreographer. Production of the series begins in the fall for a 2019 premiere.
“My mother and father have one of the greatest love stories ever known,” Nicole Fosse said. “They were extremely complex people with an indestructible bond, loyalty, and trust that endured both fantasy and reality. Finally, we have a creative team with the talent and wisdom to tell the story.”
Rockwell won an Oscar, Golden Globe, BAFTA, Critics Choice, and Independent Spirit Award for his performance in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. He next stars opposite Christian Bale and Amy Adams for director Adam McKay in Backseat and also in The Best of Enemies opposite Taraji P. Henson. Rockwell most recently wrapped production on Jojo Rabbit opposite Scarlett Johansson for director Taika Waititi for Fox Searchlight. Rockwell is repped by Gersh and Untitled Entertainment.
Williams has earned four Oscar nominations for her work in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn, and Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea. Williams is currently in production on Bart Freundlich’s After the Wedding in which she stars alongside Julianne Moore. This October, she will star opposite Tom Hardy in the Marvel film Venom, distributed by Sony Pictures. She was last seen in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World and opposite Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman. Williams is reppd by WME, Brillstein Entertainment and Bloom Hergott.
Kail directed the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musicals In the Heights and Hamilton, for which he received the Drama Desk Award and Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical. He also directed the Emmy Award winning special Grease Live! for Fox. He is reppd by WME.
Levenson won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical for Dear Evan Hansen. His television credits include Showtime’s Masters of Sex and Fox’s Wayward Pines. He is represented by WME.
Miranda is the creator and original star of Broadway’s Tony-winning Hamilton and In the Heights. His composed songs for Disney’s Moana. TV/Film credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm (2018 Emmy nomination, Guest Actor), Saturday Night Live (2017 Emmy nomination, Guest Actor), and Disney’s upcoming 2018 holiday release, Mary Poppins Returns. He is repped by WME.
“Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s story is one of a fascinating, passionate love affair that gave birth to some truly remarkable cultural achievements, and to this day it has been largely untold,” said Bert Salke, President of Fox 21 Television Studios. “In the capable hands of Steven, Tommy and Lin, with the vital creative input and imprimatur of their only daughter Nicole, this series is going to be a compelling look at these two icons as portrayed by the enormously talented Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams.”