3:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Courtney B. Vance Set as Johnnie Cochran in FX's 'American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson'
FX has found its Johnnie Cochran.
The network has tapped Law & Order: Criminal Intent alum Courtney B. Vance to play O.J. Simpson's defense attorney in FX's American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson — the first season of the upcoming anthology from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk — is based on Jeffrey Toobin's best-selling book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
The 10-episode first season examines the O.J. Simpson trial as told from the perspective of the lawyers and is poised to explore the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuverings on both sides of the court. More significantly, it will display how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness and the Los Angeles police's history with the city's African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
Vance will play the attorney who famously said, "If it doesn't fit, you must acquit," during the defense's closing arguments in one of the most closely followed trials of the century. Vance's role comes after his wife, Angela Bassett, recently worked with Murphy and Falchuk on the past few seasons of FX's American Horror Story.
Vance joins a cast that includes Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, American Horror Story favorite Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark; Friends alum David Schwimmer as Simpson's friend and attorney Robert Kardashian and John Travolta as Robert Shapiro.
Vance, whose credits include FlashForward and a recurring role on NBC's State of Affairs, is repped by The Gersh Agency, Lighthouse Entertainment and Fox Rothschild.
Written by Golden Globe winners Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (The People vs. Larry Flynt), the duo, along with original producers Bradford Simpson (World War Z) and Nina Jacobson (The Hunger Games), moved with the former Fox project to FX, where they will pen the first two episodes, among others. They will be joined by Murphy and his AHS co-creator, Falchuk, as well as Ryan Murphy Productions' Dante Di Loreto as executive producers, with Murphy also set to direct. Production is expected to begin soon in Los Angeles.