Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange to Star in New Ryan Murphy Series ‘Feud’ About Bette Davis and Joan Crawford

Susan Sarandon & Jessica Lange
Susan Sarandon & Jessica Lange Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Barry King/FilmMagic

Ryan Murphy apparently just doesn’t have enough shows. The prolific producer’s next series will be an eight-episode anthology on FX starring Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange — and it sounds like a doozy! — the network announced on Thursday, May 5.

Feud‘s first installment will tell the story of the fierce behind-the-scenes rivalry between actresses Joan Crawford (Lange) and Bette Davis (Sarandon) during the filming of the campy Oscar-winning 1962 psychological thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? The pilot is partly based on the feature script Best Actress, which landed on the 2009 Black List for most-liked unproduced screenplays.

The series’ star-studded cast includes Alfred Molina as Baby Jane director Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as studio head Jack Warner, Judy Davis as gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and Dominic Burgess as Crawford and Davis’ costar Victor Buono. Fox 21 Television Studios is behind Feud, with Murphy and Plan B Entertainment’s Brad Pitt and Dede Gardner executive producing.

Joan Crawford (left) and Bette Davis in 1962's 'What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?'
Joan Crawford (left) and Bette Davis in 1962’s ‘What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?’ Warner Brothers/Getty Images

The show continues Murphy’s fruitful professional relationship with FX, following this year’s heralded The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and the Emmy-winning anthology series American Horror Story. Murphy will direct several episodes of Feud, which goes into production in the fall and is set to air in 2017.

“Ryan keeps reinventing TV,” said FX exec John Landgraf in a statement. “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.”

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