Feud: Bette and Joan aired its heartbreaker of a finale on Sunday, but Feud as a broader franchise is only just getting started. Now that Ryan Murphy has tapped into the endlessly fertile ground of chronicling real-life drama between public figures, the potential for future seasons is limitless, with season two shifting focus from Old Hollywood to the British Royal Family. Here’s everything we know so far about Feud: Charles and Diana, which will chronicle “the dissolving of a fairy tale.”
The storyline and timeline
Feud‘s second season will focus on the doomed marriage between Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, whose iconic royal wedding in 1981 belied a relationship that soon spiraled into dysfunction, adultery and an increasingly public war of words.
“It’s going to be super juicy,” Murphy told EW. “It’s a very different kind of feud than the feud we told with Bette and Joan. It’s a love affair feud.” More surprisingly, Murphy revealed during an Emmys panel on Friday that the show will begin with the filing of divorce papers, per Deadline. “It’s about that pain of the dissolving of a fairy tale, particularly for Diana. It starts with the filing of divorce papers and takes you up until her death.”
Executive producer Alexis Martin Woodall has described the second season as “a woman’s story—she was was 19 years old when she married him, she really had to find her own way. With Charles and Diana, they were heightened, they were royalty—true royalty—and they still had the same issues of insecurity and relevance and importance and love that everybody goes through. I think there’s a really human quality to it.”
What’s unclear is whether Season 2 will jump back and forth in time, as Bette and Joan did, to show Diana and Charles earlier in their relationship. Though the pair announced their separation in 1992, they continued to carry out their royal duties, and their divorce wasn’t finalized until August 1996. Diana died in a car crash in Paris almost exactly a year later, in August of 1997.
In 1995, Diana gave an infamous tell-all interview to the BBC in which she admitted that she and Charles had stayed together despite being deeply unhappy for years because they didn’t want to disappoint the public. Given Murphy’s fondness for the talking-heads documentary device, expect that interview to play a major role in Feud.
The creative team
Murphy will return as showrunner on Season 2 and will co-write scripts with playwright Jon Robin Baitz, whose TV work includes Brothers & Sisters, The Slap and the upcoming Hurricane Katrina-themed second season of American Crime Story. Bette and Joan stars Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange will return as executive producers.
Murphy has confirmed that he’s currently in the process of casting his Charles and Diana. This being a Murphy production, Sarah Paulson is bound to be involved in some capacity, though Murphy has denied rumors that she could play Diana herself.
Feud: Charles and Diana will be a ten-episode season, bumped up from Bette and Joan’s eight, and is expected to begin production in fall of 2017. The show will premiere sometime in 2018.