Sarandon and Lange Set to ‘Feud’ as Davis and Crawford

Ryan Murphy increases his TV footprint with Feud

You know that horrifying moment in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? when Bette Davis serves Joan Crawford a dead rat? Crawford opens up the dinner tray (served by her sister) and immediately shoves the dinner cart back as she screams in terror…and her dear old sister starts maniacally laughing her head off? That’s how I feel every time I watch a Ryan Murphy show: he serves up something allegedly delicious and then it just ends up being a gaudy, dead animal.

After two very successful anthology series (American Horror Story refuses to die and American Crime Story is destined for Emmy glory), Murphy is starting his latest show. Feud will be an 8-episode anthology series that centers on screen legends Crawford and Davis coming together for the infamous filming of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

You hear that? It’s the sound of 2 billion older gay men collectively gasping and clutching their pearls! Imagine the costumes! Imagine the production design!


Murphy has assembled a ridiculous cast already. Susan Sarandon (last seen angering Democrats everywhere) will play Davis and Jessica Lange will take on Crawford. Alfred Molina will play Baby Jane’s director, Robert Aldrich. Stanley Tucci is set to portray studio head Jack Warner. Judy Davis (!!!) will show Helen Mirren how to do a proper American dialect while she plays gossip columnist Hedda Hopper. I admit that Murphy has a real knack for giving juicy roles in an industry that is quick to forget women of a certain age.

With American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson, Murphy displayed a real directorial flair in the pilot–it’s probably the best first episode of a series all year. The limited series itself is marvelous display of restraint on Murphy’s part, and it’s probably because he was dealing with real characters and not an fictional subject. Will he be able to do the same for Davis and Crawford? No doubt he will amp up the drama and the cattiness, but who knows what’s going on Murphy’s noggin’. I wouldn’t be surprised if the entire ensemble bursts into a rendition of a random Annie Lennox song because he feels it’s justified.

By the way, why can’t Feud just be a great mini series and not the jump start of another anthology? What’s going to be on slate for season two? Tiffany vs. Debbie Gibson?

So, Mr. Murphy. Give me something delicious. Something tart and glamorous. Don’t give me something worthy of rat poison.

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