That terrifying noise you hear is the heads of queer movie fans exploding in exciting anticipation over the news that thespian goddesses Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon will play Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, respectively, in Feud, a forthcoming anthology series about the making of the classic thriller What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Ryan Murphy, producer of other riveting anthologies including American Horror Story, which garnered shelves of awards for Lange, and will oversee production of this new one for FX. The first season of the series will focus on the tantalizing real-life story of Crawford and Davis, both past their their fabled career peaks and struggling to remain relevant for new audiences, who agree to costar for the first time in a low-budget film about two has-been actress-sisters who share a crumbling Hollywood mansion. The 1962 film became an unexpected box office hit, won Davis an Academy Award nod as best actress and introduced a spate of similar Grand Guignol thrillers starring female movie stars of a certain age. It also launched countless insider stories that the two great stars did not enjoy working with one another, to put it mildly. The turbulent story of the making of Baby Jane and the alleged career-long rivalry between Crawford and Davis has been already told in Sean Considine’s juicy tome Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud, which will presumably serve as a source for this project’s script.
The series will also feature Alfred Molina as Baby Jane‘s director Robert Aldrich, Stanley Tucci as studio exec Jack Warner, Judy Davis as famed gossip columnist Hedda Hopper and Dominic Burgess as Baby Jane co-star Victor Buono. Brad Pitt will executive-produce the eight-episode first season alongside Murphy, Lange and Sarandon. The series will provide rich characters for the two Oscar-winning actresses to play. Lange is currently receiving kudos on Broadway for her turn as morphine-addicted Mary in Long Day’s Journey Into Night, while Sarandon has been dealing with controversy and fallout from her stumping for Bernie Sanders. The series is scheduled to premiere in 2017.
Watch what is probably the most famous and widely quoted scene from Baby Jane below.