Fresh off the success of the first installment of American Crime Story, which dug deep into the O.J. Simpson trial and gave us something I’ve taken to calling Peak Travolta, Ryan Murphy is teaming up with FX for yet another anthology series. According to a press release from FX, the new franchise is called Feud and will be an eight-episode series “that will explore the bouts and blows of epic conflicts.” Bouts and blows of epic conflicts? Hoo boy. That sounds intense. And what epic conflict will the show tackle in its first season? Glad you asked.
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 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.
You guys know the basketball term “heat check,” right? It’s when a shooter has knocked down a few shots and is feeling good, so he just fires up something deep or contested the next time he has the ball to see if he’s really on fire. That’s kind of what this feels like. Like maybe Ryan Murphy had this idea in his back pocket ever since he came to Hollywood, but he knew he’d need a lot of juice to get it made, so when FX asked him what he wanted to do next after the success of his American Stories Horror and Criminal, he just said screw it and announced, “I want to make a show about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis yelling at each other.”
Ryan Murphy. Living the dream.