FX is wasting no time in keeping Ryan Murphy employed for the next few years. While he serves as showrunner/creator on the network’s wildly popular American Horror Story (now in its sixth season), Murphy expanded his horizons this summer with The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story. The idea behind the new anthology series was to tackle a new true crime story every year, but most greeted the impending arrival of a Murphy-backed O.J. series with heavy skepticism. As it turns out, American Crime Story was one of the best pieces of storytelling in any medium in 2016, with the show unearthing little-known aspects of the trial while also drawing parallels to issues of race, sexism, and income inequality in our country. It went on to win a bevy of Emmys, including Best Limited Series and a Best Director trophy for Murphy’s work on the first episode.
And now, with development well underway on a Hurricane Katrina-themed Season 2, FX has already renewed American Crime Story for Season 3. The theme of Season 3 will focus on the 1997 assassination of fashion designer Gianni Versace, whose killer committed suicide eight days later as Miami Dade police were on the verge of capturing him. Andrew Cunanan was a serial killer who murdered at least five people, including Versace, but his motives to this day remain a mystery.
Just as with People v O.J., this third season will be using source material as a starting point, with screenwriter Tom Rob Smith set to adapt Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors. Smith will write at least the first two episodes of Versace/Cunanan: American Crime Story, and Murphy is set to direct the first episode.
Filming on Versace/Cunanan will take place concurrently with filming on Katrina: American Crime Story, with production set to begin in early 2017 in Los Angeles and Miami. The timetable was accelerated when FX sparked to Smith’s script, but Katrina will still air first in 2017 with Versace/Cunanan to follow in 2018.
It’s unclear what the hook of this Versace story might be (excess? homophobia?), but Murphy’s earned the benefit of the doubt with his debut season. Katrina is poised to cover the natural disaster from a variety a viewpoints, including President George W. Bush, first responders, and those on the ground when resources were exceedingly delayed, plunging the city of New Orleans into chaos.
Per Deadline, Murphy is already meeting with actors for Versace/Cunanan, with discussions taking place with an A-list actress to take on the role of Donatella Versace. Given how well O.J. was received and Murphy’s knack for wooing A-listers, one imagines the casts of both of these new seasons will be stacked.
And in further proof that Murphy has cloned himself, he is also developing yet another anthology series at FX called Feud, which will chronicle famous Hollywood feuds. The first season will tackle the feud between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, with Jessica Lange, Susan Sarandon, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, and Sarah Paulson set to star.
And so with that, Murphy’s 2017 is all booked up. Here’s hoping we hear some casting news regarding the next two seasons of American Crime Story shortly. The 10-episode third season will debut in 2018.