We all knew that once Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange were announced as the leads in Ryan Murphy's new anthology series Feud that we'd be in for a treat. If Murphy's genius lies in anything it's assembling a cast absolutely dripping in talent. And in bringing Sarah Paulson into our lives. From the looks of the first official trailer for Feud: Bette and Joan, Murphy and co. have gifted us with another master class in acting, this time relating the story of the infamous rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
While Murphy would be remiss not to ratchet up the camp of this story—it's set during the filming of the Citizen Kane of camp films, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?—Feud looks to delve deeper than old Hollywood lore, going further than the old "power bitch face-off" that this story has been reduced to over the years.
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were two of the most quintessential movie stars of the 20th century, always existing on two separate ends of the female star spectrum. Where Crawford was the epitome of glamor, beginning her career as a flapper in silent films before becoming a sex symbol and top box office draw for much of the 1930s, Davis was always the more respected "Actress." She earned two Best Actress Oscars before she was 30, and was renowned for taking on decidedly unglamorous roles throughout her career.
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While Crawford envied Davis for her talent and credibility as an actress and Davis for Crawford's beauty and movie star wattage, the two women also managed to maintain long, fruitful careers well past the age of Hollywood's usual sell-by date. With Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, what could have been a silly, potentially embarrassing "B" horror picture became, with the power of Davis and Crawford, a timeless tale about the ravages of fame and the frailty of youth.
Similarly, Feud promises to be an exploration of these themes and more with an A-list cast that includes Catherine Zeta-Jones, Stanley Tucci, Alfred Molina, Judy Davis, Kathy Bates, and of course, Sarah Paulson. Check out the full trailer below: