Ryan Murphy Goes Back in Time With Ewan McGregor in 'Halston' and Jim Parsons' 'Hollywood' Series
By Stacy Lambe
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Ryan Murphy is about to take audiences on a long walk down memory lane with his upcoming Netflix projects. This week, he shared the first official look at two of his limited series. Hollywood, featuring Jim Parsons, and Halston, starring Ewan McGregor as the late designer, will revisit the decades following World War II through the lenses of entertainment and fashion, respectively.
First up is Hollywood, which is co-created by Murphy and Ian Brennan -- the producer behind Glee and The Politician. It’s “a love letter to the Golden Age of Tinseltown,” Murphy said when he first announced it. According to Netflix, the seven-episode series debuting on May 1 will “follow a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers … as they try to make it in Tinseltown.” Each character will offer audiences a glimpse behind the scenes of Hollywood's Golden Age while shining a light on “the unfair systems and biases across race, gender and sexuality that continue to this day.”
Hollywood features several newcomers to the Murphy-verse, including Jeremy Pope (2019 double Tony Award nominee) as Archie, Laura Harrier (Spider-Man: Homecoming) as Camille, Samara Weaving (Ready or Not) as Claire, Maude Apatow (Euphoria) as Henrietta, Jake Picking (Horse Girl) as Rock Hudson, and Holland Taylor as Ellen Kincaid.
While new to one of Murphy’s projects, Taylor is notably dating Sarah Paulson, who is busy working on another one of his Netflix projects, Ratched. When ET asked about ever joining Paulson onscreen in one of Murphy’s creations, Taylor said “it’s probably not a dream of Ryan Murphy’s to have us do something together,” explaining that it wouldn’t be good for the story to bring real-world associations onto the show.
Rounding out the cast are a number of returning Murphy ensemble players, including David Corenswet as Jack, Darren Criss as Raymond, Dylan McDermott as Ernie, Joe Mantello as Dick, and Patti LuPone as Avis. Parsons, who returns to TV in his first series role since The Big Bang Theory ended in 2019, will portray Hollywood agent Henry Willson.
In addition to Hollywood, Parsons is also working on a film adaptation of The Boys in the Band. Directed by Mantello, the upcoming movie will reunite the cast of the Tony-winning Broadway revival. Recently speaking to ET about taking the production from the stage to the screen, Parsons said, "The core story will all stay the same but it will be a different beast by the time we’re done with it.”
Up next is Halston, a limited series about the celebrated fashion designer, who rose to prominence in the 1960s after he designed for Jacqueline Kennedy and became an international icon by the late-’70s and ‘80s.
“After a long 20 years of twists and turns, the limited series Halston starring the fantastic Ewan McGregor began production today,” Murphy wrote on Instagram, formally announcing the main cast of the series. “I am so proud of our director and leader Dan Minahan, and Christine Vachon of Killer Films. I am thrilled to be producing this great and meaningful show with them and Alexis Martin Woodall and Pamela Koffler.”
He also included a “full cast list,” with McGregor as Halston, Rory Culkin as filmmaker Joel Schumacher, Rebecca Dayan as designer Elsa Peretti, David Pittu as illustrator Joe Eula, Krysta Rodriguez as actress Liza Minnelli, Sullivan Jones as politician Ed Austin, and Gian Franco Rodriguez as Halston’s partner, Victor Hugo.
While no other formal details about Halston were announced, the Netflix show will mark McGregor’s second streaming series following his reprisal of Obi-Wan Kenobi in a delayed Disney+ original series.
In the meantime, Murphy’s journey into the past does not stop with Halston or Hollywood. As previously mentioned, The Boys in the Band is currently filming in New York and will transport audiences back to the ‘50s, when being out wasn’t legal or safe.
Additionally, American Crime Story is set to return in 2020 with season three. Dubbed Impeachment, the new installment will go inside the Bill Clinton sex scandal involving Monica Lewinsky. The series returns to FX ahead of the third season of Pose, which is expected to continue the story about the transgender community in 1990s New York City.