EXCLUSIVE: Ryan Murphy and Plan B have put out another part of their FX anthology series Feud. With the title Capote’s women, the project will play the twice-Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts as Babe Paley, who ruled the glamorous world of New York society in the 1960s and 70s. The two-time Oscar-nominated Gus Van Sant will direct all eight episodes, with Tony and Pulitzer-nominated Jon Robin Baitz composing the high-profile package, writing all the episodes and acting as showrunner.
An adaptation of Laurence Leamer’s bestselling book “Capote’s Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era”, the miniseries takes place in the 1970s and ends with Truman Capote’s death in 1984. It tells the story of the famous wunderkind author as he stabs several of his female friends – whom he called his “swans” – in the back by publishing a novel à clef short story called “La Côte Basque 1965” in Esquire in 1975. The play was intended to be a chapter in Capote’s infamous unfinished novel “Answered Prayers”, his sequel to the blockbuster “In Cold Blood”.
After the huge success of “In Cold Blood,” Capote was a toast to the high society of New York, who counted the city’s most beautiful, most stylish, and wealthy women as close friends, its swans. The list of the best socialites in his inner circle included Babe Paley, wife of CBS boss Bill Paley, who will be played by Watts in Feud: Capote’s Women; Slim Keith; Pamela Churchill Harriman, ex-wife of Winston’s son and future wife of Slim’s husband; Lee Radziwill, sister of Jackie Kennedy; Gloria Guinness and CZ Guest.
The Basque coast‘s characters were sparsely disguised versions of Capote’s female confidants, revealing their shocking secrets and scandals, from infidelity to murder. Its release destroyed Capote’s friendships, and all his swans cut him off, as well as his reputation and his social status.
Worldwide search is underway for an actor to play Capote in Capote’s women. Other Oscar-nominated and winning actresses are contacted to star alongside Watts, who plays Capote’s Socialite Swans, including Slim, Pamela, Lee, Gloria and CZ, as well as Johnny Carson’s second wife Joanne Carson, a good friend of Capote, who remained close to him until his death. The casting of these roles is expected to come into high gear next week, with the miniseries’ production team of Baitz, Watts and Van Sant at the helm.
The first part of Feudcreated by Murphy, Jaffe Cohen and Michael Zam, attracted Oscar winners Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon as the lead roles, rival Hollywood icons Joan Crawford and Bette Davis.
Brothers & Sisters creator Baitz, Milk director Van Sant and Watts produce Feud: Capote’s women along with Murphy, Plan B’s Dede Gardner, Tim Minear, Alexis Martin Woodall, Lange and Sarandon, who all produced / produced Feud: Bette and Joan. 20th Television is the studio that produces with Plan B Entertainment and Ryan Murphy Productions. Filming is expected to begin in New York this fall.
Babe Paley starred in an episode of the Murphy executive-produced Netflix limited series Halston where she was played by Regina Schneider.
The film from 2005 Capote, takes place in an earlier period of the novelist’s life, with Philip Seymour Hoffman winning an Oscar for the title role, with Michelle Harrison as Babe Paley. In the 2006 film NotoriousCapote was played by Toby Jones, with Sigourney Weaver as Babe Paley and Hope Davis as Slim Keith.
Debuted in 2017, Feud: Bette and Joan garnered strong reviews and achieved 18 Emmy nominations, including the Outstanding Limited Series and two Outstanding Leaders in a Limited Series or Movie nominations for Lange and Sarandon.
At the time, there was an idea for a Charles and Diana-focused second season of Feud which did not turn into anything.
This marks the latest series set in 1970s New York for Murphy joining Halston as well as the upcoming Study 54 rate of American crime. In addition, he produced FX’s acclaimed series Pose, set a decade later, also in NYC.
Capote’s women expands Watts’ relationship with Murphy; she also starred in his upcoming Netflix series The guard. She is currently making headlines Infinite Storm. Watts is represented by CAA and Untitled Entertainment. Van Sant is represented by WME; Baitz is represented by the CAA.