Two of our all-time favourite actresses, Susan Sarandon, and Jessica Lange, are set to reenact one of the biggest feuds in Hollywood history – and it’s going to make for epic TV. Ryan Murphy of Glee, American Horror Story, and American Crime Story fame, has penned Feud, which will take on a real-life rivalry every season. Its first eight-episode season will showcase the bitter battle between iconic movie stars Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.
The two cinematic icons apparently harboured a deep hatred of each other, duking it out over actor Franchot Tone but things escalated even when he was out of the picture. Neither made a secret of their dislike for each other but they acted together in 1962’s Whatever happened to Baby Jane to rapturous reviews, and their on-set antics are now legendary. Davis was nominated for an Oscar, and as a result, Crawford campaigned against her. The bad blood was so bad that after Crawford died, Davis infamously cracked, “You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”
And because the television gods are kind to us, Lange will play Crawford and Sarandon will play Davis. We’ll get to see them drag each other across the floor, push, shove and pull each other’s hair out. They are going to destroy each other, and we’ll be glued to the screen.
Sarandon discovered she and Davis had a lot in common; like Davis, Sarandon said. “I never saw myself as being one of the beautiful girls… So I kind of understood and related to that.” Whereas Lange said, she was the polar opposite.
The show will centre on the Baby Jane, and the cast will also include Alfred Molina as Robert Aldrich, the film’s director, and Stanley Tucci (just when you thought this couldn’t get any better) as the studio boss Jack Warner.
But for all the outrageous antics depicted, the series is intended as a close study of two women constantly victimised – by men, by the media, by the studio system – and thus, it is a feminist story. “I wasn’t interested in just doing this broad, campy [show],” said creator Murphy. “I was interested in the idea of sexism, ageism, misogyny. Turning 40, 45, 50 and feeling like you’re at the height of your powers and people saying, ‘Well, you’re done.’”
Feud debuts 5th March on FX