I take no pleasure in being the dasher of casting dreams, but according to E! News, Ryan Murphy revealed Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange will not play Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II in Feud: Charles and Diana. While both women have become the queens of Murphy's empire of shows, the American Horror Story creator is wisely looking across the pond to fill the royal roles. In fact, even though it is still early days — Feud Season 1 doesn't even premiere until March 5 — Murphy sounds confident the majority of Feud Season 2 will be filmed in England.
Murphy explained to E! News,
"Those two [Jessica and Sarah], I love them but they will not be in those roles. I think we're going to be shooting it all in England. It's going to be a very international cast... I'm just starting to meet with people. If you have a British accent, that helps you. On this show."
As much as I love Paulson and Lange, this sounds like a good move for the next installment. The dissolution of Princess Diana and Prince Charles' marriage is such a key part of modern British history, it only seems right for the show to be steeped in the country's culture. It also gives Murphy a chance to expand his cast of returning players once more.
With more British TV available in the U.S. than ever before, TV fans know there is an immense amount of talent for Murphy to draw from. Imagine the great Diana Rigg (who, just joined the cast of Victoria Season 2) as Queen Elizabeth, or Call the Midwife's phenomenal Jenny Agutter making the role her own. Seeing actors of their caliber joining the American Horror Story-American Crime Story-Feud family would be a joy.
Then, there are the key roles of Diana and Charles. I completely understand the temptation to put Paulson in the role of Diana. Not only has she proven she can play anyone, she also looks the part. Still, seeing an unknown or even someone like the criminally underappreciated Laura Carmichael in the role would be a joy to watch. As for Charles, whoever lands the part needs to have immense chemistry with Murphy's Lady Di because Feud Season 2 is all about the heartbreak.
During his E! News interview, Murphy made it clear the first two seasons of Feud are meant to tell vastly different stories of people tearing each other down. Where Season 1 is all about Hollywood and the ways in which it pits women against each other, Season 2 is about broken hearts and the messiness of a public divorce. As always, Murphy is making sure his anthology series grows and evolves throughout its run — and that is exactly why his shows are so addictive. You never know what direction he will take your favorite franchise in next.
First fans have the sure-to-be-amazing Feud Season 1 to devour. Then you can start dream casting your British-actor filled Season 2, if the prolific Murphy hasn't already started plotting out Season 3 by then.