Former President Bill Clinton’s 1998 sex scandal is coming back to television next year for the third season of FX’s "American Crime Story" series, with Oscar-nominated Clive Owen slated to star as Clinton himself, Deadline reported on Friday.
"Impeachment: American Crime Story" will follow the compelling scandal between America’s 42nd president and a 22-year-old White House intern, Monica Lewinsky, which nearly led to an abrupt end of Clinton’s presidency.
Lewinsky, who is a producer of the series, will be played by Beanie Feldman, while Sarah Paulson will play Linda Tripp, Lewinsky’s Defense Department co-worker that brought her relationship with Clinton to light, and Annaleigh Ashford will play Paula Jones, according to Deadline. Meanwhile, the role of then-first lady Hillary Clinton is still being cast.
The series itself is based off of Jeffrey Toobin’s book “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President,” who’s 1997 book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” was the inspiration for American Crime Story’s critically acclaimed first season.
The timing of FX’s “Impeachment” account comes as incumbent President Donald Trump prepares to defend himself against impeachment proceedings regarding his dealings with Ukraine. However, this season of FX’s "American Crime Story" will not be influenced by current events, according to the show’s executive producer, Ryan Murphy.
“We do a show that is very thoroughly fact-checked and vetted and based on bestselling books by Jeffrey Toobin,” Murphy told Deadline. “I think the reason why it’s interesting is because you don’t have to change anything to feel modern. And I think that idea of impeachment obviously with Trump is fascinating. I wouldn’t say that we’re changing things that much or mentioning Trump at all in our narrative.”
With casting still in effect, filming is scheduled to start in late March with the series currently set for a Sept. 27, 2020, premiere, which happens to be just a month before the upcoming U.S. presidential election.
Filming was initially slated to begin in February, however Deadline reports that Paulson is taking a few months off to prepare for her role as Tripp and Murphy will be busy directing “Prom” with Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman.
The franchise has become a critics’ darling since Season One’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” which received 22 Emmy nominations, winning nine of them. The second season, “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” was nominated for 19 Emmys and took home seven.
The first two installments of ACS also won Golden Globe, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, American Film Institute, Producers Guild of America Award, Television Critics Association and Writers Guild of America awards.