The first season of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story was a bonafide hit, as hit reignited the nation’s fascination with the O.J. Simpson case. The show is pushing the limit yet again for its second season, recalling one of the deadliest natural disasters in modern history.
The Huffington Post reports Hurricane Katrina will be the focus of the second season. Murphy confirmed the rumors during the Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday (August 9). “There’s a writer’s room right now, working on ‘Katrina,’” he said. “We’re just starting to get the episodes in. I’m sadly not going to make any big news, but you will have the famous people. You will also have the people who weren’t famous.” This can mean the story will be told from various vantage points; from those who experienced it, to the people behind the political lines.
On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina dominated the Gulf coast and displaced residents in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama resulting in over $100 billion in damages. Up to 1,800 people were declared dead with many people never reclaiming their homes or communities. Heartbreaking images from New Orleans dominated television screens as many held signs from flooded homes pleading for help. Former President George Bush and FEMA faced a heavy amount of criticism due to their slow response to the disaster. It also prompted the painfully poignant quote by Kanye West that became part of popular culture and black America.
Murphy says the story will be told as a crime, hinting the racial disparities will not go overshadowed. “And, in my opinion, Katrina was a f***ing crime — a crime against a lot of people who didn’t have a strong voice, and we’re going to treat it as a crime,” he said. “That’s what this show is all about. It’s going to be about the intensity of what it was like to be there on the ground — and also the bigger crime, that Katrina was something that was predictable.”
Murphy is looking to cast actors to play Bush, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin and former Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco.
Filming will take place in New Orleans with an expected air date in 2017.