Before slaying in the roles of Vincent Vega in Pulp Fiction and Chili Palmer in Get Shorty, there was a time a young John Travolta’s most notable claim to fame was on a show known as Welcome Back, Kotter (which ran from 1975-79 as it were). And now, after decades of absence, it appears the man’s returning to his first home thanks to American Crime Story.
A new announcement from FX has revealed that Travolta will be stepping into the shoes of Attorney Robert Shapiro, a key member of O.J. defense team in the first season of American Horror Story and Glee co-creator Ryan Murphy’s new anthology series, titled American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
Said the network:
Based on the book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin, the miniseries is a look at the O.J. Simpson trial told from the perspective of the lawyers. It explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
Travolta has also been confirmed as both a producer and star on the first 10 episodes of American Crime Story; though this revelation is probably just in name only.
FX and showrunner Ryan Murphy have been using the selling point of actors not having to commit to 5-7 year long projects in order to land major talent for the anthology format (as has been the way with American Horror Story). In American Crime Story’s case, the major cast already includes David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian, Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson and AHS alum Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark.
When it comes to major, name film actors, it seems many have become intrigued with the idea of taking on an anthology role, especially now that many (including Jessica Lange, Woody Harrelson and Matthew Mcconaughey) have either won or been nominated for substantial Emmy gold. When you combine the factors of short shooting schedules with potential awards and acclaim, there’s no reason any major actor wouldn’t jump at the chance to hop on one of the most potential new short-form series of the year.
American Crime Story is set to debut sometime in 2015 on FX.