• The new cover story on Hollywood comes after Netflix released the full trailer for the show on Monday (icymi here's the ontd post).
• The series follows a group of actors, filmmakers, and studio executives (a mix of actual historical figures and original characters) challenging the status quo in post-WWII Hollywood. The question at the center of the series: what kind of reaction and impact would a matinee idol coming out, a black actress being cast as the leading lady, and a woman running a major film studio, have had 70 years ago?
• This is Murphy's second Netflix series, but first without his longtime collaborators at 20th Century Fox Television.
• The idea for the show came from a conversation between Murphy and Darren Criss. The two were celebrating the success of The Assassination of Gianni Versace when they started talking about what their next collaboration could be. Criss suggested a show set in 1940s Hollywood that would explore the lives of well known stars and lesser known Golden Age figures like like Scotty Bowers (a gas station attendant turned sex worker turned 'erotic fixer' for movie stars).
• Murphy took that idea to his producing partner Ian Brennan (Glee, Scream Queens, The Politician), and came up with a show that would revolve around a group of actors and filmmakers working at a Bowers-esque gas station. Eventually the pair started thinking about 'what-if's" and the idea of revising history. Along the way Janet Mock (Pose) joined the project as a writer and director.
• Exploring 'what could have been' changed the trajectories of many characters. For example, Patti LuPone's character was originally going to be the powerless aging housewife of a studio head. In the final form of the show, her character is now a woman who takes control of a movie studio from her husband and decides to start green-lighting diverse films.
• Murphy and Brennan talk about how much freedom Netflix gave them, especially when it came to depicting sex scenes. Murphy mentions that on some of his shows he had to fight "tooth and nail" over the "mere mention" of sexual terms, while Netflix encouraged them to dial up the sex.
• The article teases a five page sex scene between Patti LuPone and David Corenswet (LuPone was quoted as saying "Finally!" when asked what it felt like to be asked to do a sex scene at 71), and reveals that episode three (which takes place at a pool party at director George Cukor's house) was nicknamed "night of a thousand dicks" by the show's writers.
• THR releases an addition article breaking down the cast of Murphy mainstays, and newcomers to his production stable.
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