*FX’s upcoming series “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” now has its Johnny Cochran.
The network has tapped “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” alum Courtney B. Vance to play Simpson’s famous defense attorney, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
“American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” — the first season of the upcoming anthology from Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk — is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s best-selling book The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
The 10-episode first season examines the O.J. Simpson trial as told from the perspective of the lawyers and is poised to explore the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuverings on both sides of the court. More significantly, it will display how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness and the Los Angeles police’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
Vance will play the attorney who famously said, “If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit,” during the defense’s closing arguments in one of the most closely followed trials of the century.
Vance’s role comes after his wife, Angela Bassett, recently worked with Murphy and Falchuk on the past few seasons of FX’s “American Horror Story.”
Vance joins a cast that includes Cuba Gooding Jr. as Simpson, “American Horror Story” staple Sarah Paulson as prosecutor Marcia Clark; “Friends” alum David Schwimmer as Simpson’s friend and attorney Robert Kardashian and John Travolta as Robert Shapiro.
Production is expected to begin soon in Los Angeles.