A dream project is taking shape at FX that revolves around acclaimed filmmaker and choreographer Bob Fosse. The network announced today that it has greenlit an eight-episode untitled Fosse/Verdon limited series revolving around the romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon, with Sam Rockwell and Michelle Williams filling the lead roles. The series will be executive produced by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton director Thomas Kail, and Dear Evan Hansen writer Steven Levenson, with Kail directing the premiere episode from a script by Levenson.
This fantastic-sounding project is an adaptation of Sam Wasson’s biography Fosse, and the official synopsis is as follows:
Based on Fosse, the biography written by Sam Wasson, this eight-part limited series tells the story of the singular romantic and creative partnership between Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon. He was a visionary filmmaker and one of theater’s most influential choreographers and directors, she was the greatest Broadway dancer of all time. Together they changed the face of American entertainment – at a perilous cost. Featuring Fosse’s choreography, the series explores the hidden corners of show business, the price of pursuing greatness, and the suffering inflicted in the name of art.
Fosse famously chronicled his own life in the Oscar-winning film All That Jazz, which starred Roy Scheider as a Fosse-like character in an unforgettable performance. This FX limited series has a dream team bringing it to fruition, with Levenson serving as showrunner and Nicole Fosse, the daughter of Fosse and Verdon, serving as a co-executive producer. Kail, Levenson, and Miranda released a joint statement that seems to indicate this project will shine a well-deserved light on Verdon:
“Bob Fosse ignited a revolution in American dance, theater, and film. But, in contrast to the well-worn myth of the visionary artist working in solitude, Fosse’s work would not have been possible without Gwen Verdon, the woman who helped to mold his style – and make him a star. We are honored to work with the incredible team at FX and Fox 21, and these two extraordinary actors, to tell the story of this remarkable couple, and the complicated, fascinating relationship between them.”
While FX is home to some of the best programming on television, from The Americans to Atlanta, the network has suffered a couple of recent setbacks—namely the loss of Ryan Murphy. The American Crime Story creator has been a cornerstone of FX for years, but he declined to renew his overall deal earlier this year and instead jumped ship to Netflix—although he continues to oversee his FX shows currently on the air, including American Horror Story and Pose.
But this untitled Fosse/Verdon project is a huge deal, and a big statement that FX is still very much in the prestige game and capable of landing massive talent. As a huge fan of Fosse and all involved here, I cannot wait to see what Rockwell and Williams bring to the table. Filming on the series begins this fall ahead of a debut on FX sometime in 2019.