The first installment of Ryan Murphy’s new anthology miniseries American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson has revealed some major casting news. According to Deadline, the show has just picked up Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson for its lead roles.
This first installment of American Crime Story is to be based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson and will provide viewers a look at the O.J. Simpson trial from the perspective of the lawyers. It will explore the chaos behind the scenes, as well as in the courtroom, of one of the most widely recognized court cases in all of America. Followup seasons of the series will each focus on different famous true crimes.
Gooding Jr. will play football star-turned-accused murderer Simpson in American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, while Paulson will take on the role of prosecutor Marcia Clark. The first two hours of the series are to be scripted by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs. Larry Flynt, Ed Wood) and directed by Murphy.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is a companion series to Murphy’s highly successful, gothic horror series American Horror Story. It is essentially a true crime makeover of the series, making the Simpson case a natural choice for the first installment. “The O.J. case was as tragic as it was fascinating – it seemed like everyone had a stake in the outcome,” said Murphy in a statement. “It was really the beginning of the modern tabloid age.”
Paulson is a Murphy favorite, starring in the last three seasons of his American Horror Story (two of which earned her Emmy nods). Gooding Jr. can be seen in the Martin Luther King civil rights biopic Selma and in the upcoming BET miniseries The Book Of Negroes. He is new to the Murphy family, but something tells us, he’ll fit right in.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson received the straight-to-series order, which means a pilot episode wasn’t necessary prior to getting the green light. The series will go into production early next year in Los Angeles.