UPDATE: On Monday, Feb. 22, Showtime confirmed that Gillian Anderson will portray Eleanor Roosevelt in the upcoming anthology series, The First Lady. In addition to Anderson, who will play the longest serving First Lady, the Showtime show stars Viola Davis and Michelle Pfeiffer.
"Gillian Anderson is an actress of incredible range and exquisite talent – she is the perfect choice to complete this powerhouse trio, who will inhabit the roles of these iconic women," Amy Israel, Executive Vice President of scripted programming at Showtime stated. "It's inspiring to have Gillian, Viola Davis, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susanne Bier and Cathy Schulman at the forefront of THE FIRST LADY.
This role comes after Anderson's critically acclaimed portrayal of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher on The Crown. She is also known for her work in The X-Files, Sex Education, The Fall and more.
The first ladies are beginning to line up.
Just in time for yesterday's inauguration, Showtime has announced that Michelle Pfeiffer has joined the cast of its anthology drama The First Lady. She'll play Betty Ford, and is the first announced cast member after Viola Davis, who is playing Michelle Obama.
Now you might be saying "What?!" to that part of the news, which would be fully understandable due to the fact that Viola Davis was cast as Michelle Obama back in February 2020. It's very, very hard to remember things that happened in February 2020, since we've all lived approximately one decade in the past one year.
We'll never complain about getting to enjoy good news twice, though, so bring on this series stat. Hopefully the costume department is already working on a recreation of her stunning inaugural look.
First Ladies will "peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of three unique, enigmatic women, tracing their journeys to Washington through an enlightening intimacy." Season one will focus on Obama, Ford and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Ford, married to Gerald Ford, was FLOTUS from 1974 to 1977 and was known as "one of the most candid first ladies in history," according to Showtime. "She also raised awareness of addiction when she made her long-running battle with alcoholism and substance abuse public."
Davis is executive producing the series alongside Cathy Schulman, Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Jeff Gaspin and Brad Caplan. It was created by Aaron Cooley.
This will be Pfeiffer's first major TV project since the '80s. She is most recently known for playing Janet Van Dyne in the Ant-Man movies.
(This story was originally published on January 21, 2021.)