Bette Davis and Joan Crawford drama to air on BBC Two

Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange’s hit US drama about the rivalry between Hollywood icons Bette Davis and Joan Crawford is set to air in the UK.

Feud: Bette And Joan – from American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy – will be on BBC Two in December.

The Emmy-nominated eight-part series stars Sarandon as Davis and Lange as Crawford and begins with their collaboration on the 1962 horror film What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

It explores how the two stars endured ageism and sexism while struggling to hang on to success and fame in the twilight of their careers.

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kathy Bates, Judy Davis, Alfred Molina and Stanley Tucci are also among the cast.

Executive producer Murphy said he had wanted to do a project about Davis since interviewing her as a young journalist.

He said of their meeting: “The 20 minutes turned into a four-hour conversation and she liked me, I think, because I chain-smoked with her (this was in the late 80s) and I had a really wonderful time and I got to really talk to her a lot about her pain and her regret and what it was like to be a woman and feel that you were just getting started and then told you were done.

“A couple years later, I started to write scripts and I kept thinking I should do something about Bette, but I didn’t know how, and it took me 30 years to figure it out.

Ryan Murphy (Ian West/PA)

“A lot of that reportage that I couldn’t use at the time — a lot of what she said was off the record – I put it into the show. So that was very rewarding.”

Murphy believes the issues raised in Feud are still relevant in today’s society.

He said: “Even though it’s set in 1962, the themes and issues in the show are so modern, and women are still going through this sort of stuff today that they went through 50 years ago, and nothing has really changed, and we really wanted to lean into that aspect of the show.”

– Feud: Bette And Joan starts on BBC Two on Saturday December 16 at 9pm. The full series will be available as a box set on BBC iPlayer from 10.45pm that same evening.


 

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