Fans of the royal family waiting for producer Ryan Murphy’s fictionalized reenactment of the scandalous divorce between Prince Charles and Princess Diana will be very upset to learn that the project is no longer happening at FX.
The tale was supposed to be told as part of Murphy’s anthology series Feud, which had a very successful first season in 2017 depicting the rift between Hollywood legends Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.
Feud: Bette and Joan, starring Jessica Lange (Crawford) and Susan Sarandon (Davis), was heavily nominated for many major industry awards, but only took home Emmys for hairstyling and makeup.
“Having a show called Feud is interesting because… feuds are about pain,” Murphy said in April of 2017, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“So Charles and Diana’s story literally begins with the filing of the divorce papers. And it’s about that pain, the dissolving of a fairy tale, particularly for Diana. It starts with the filing of divorce papers and takes you up until her death.”
Season 2 of the series, which was intended to air this year, reportedly signed up Matthew Goode (The Good Wife, The Crown) to play Prince Charles and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) as the portrayer of the late Princess Diana.
“We did [have it cast], but we decided we didn’t feel we had the material right and decided not to move forward with it,” FX Networks CEO John Landgraf told the Hollywood Reporter.
However, the network head is still hopeful for a second installment of the Feud anthology.
“I hope so. I think Ryan would still consider it an active show, but he hasn’t told me what the next cycle is, and when he’s going to make it, and that’s really his camp,” he said.
In the meantime, Landgraf told Deadline that Murphy has “a lot of projects in development” for FX, including American Horror Story: Apocalypse, which is scheduled to premiere September 12; Season 3 of American Crime Story, which will focus on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and has a script titled Five Days at Memorial; and Season 2 of Pose.
“We are at a point in the evolution of Ryan’s process in this relationship where he really makes these decisions more than we do,” continued Landgraf.
“If you look at the absolute quality of the material, the scripts for Feud,[The Assassination of Gianni] Versace, People v. O.J. Simpson, the bar is really high. And if you are adapting true story, there is a whole new layer, you have to try to get things accurately.”
FX is not certain if we will see a new installment of Feud or American Crime Story next since it “is dependent on when the material comes together at the level necessary.”
“[Murphy] has been really prolific — he has been an important part of the FX brand, and he will continue to be a very important part of the FX brand,” stated Landgraf.