American Crime Story creator Ryan Murphy is on the hunt for actors to play former president George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in the second season of his FX anthology television series, which will center on New Orleans before and after Hurricane Katrina.
The first season of American Crime Story, subtitled The People vs. O.J. Simpson, snagged 22 Emmy nominations (second only to Game of Thrones) for its run earlier this year. In keeping with the series’ “anthology” format, the second season will focus on the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, as well as the roles that senior government officials played in handling the crisis, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
“It’s an amazing tragedy that you cannot believe happened in America. But along with the overwhelming horribleness and sadness, you also have amazing stories of [people] coming together,” Murphy, who also serves as showrunner on FX series American Horror Story, told THR. “We’re laying into what do you do when you’re in a city and your government has abandoned you? You get out by climbing up and pulling up people with you, and to a large degree that’s what the miniseries is about. It’s not just what happened but heroic stories about people surviving — or in some cases, dying helping others.”
In addition to a casting search for Bush and Rice, the series will also reportedly feature the characters of then-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and then-Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco. Murphy hinted that People vs. O.J. stars John Travolta, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson could return for the series’ second season, but made no official casting announcements.
Murphy also revealed that the Katrina-focused second season could stretch between 13 to 15 episodes; People vs. O.J. had 10.
The sixth season of Murphy’s American Horror Story premieres September 14 on FX. American Crime Story Season 2 is expected some time in 2017.
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