American Crime Story will tackle the Monica Lewinksy sex scandal in the fourth season, and Sarah Paulson will be in it, Ryan Murphy has confirmed to E! News.
"Sarah will be in it but she won't be playing Hillary [Clinton]," Murphy reveals in the video interview above. "That's earmarked for talks with somebody else. We're casting that now. I can't say what Sarah is playing, but it starts shooting at the end of this year."
Last month, 20th Century Fox optioned rights to Jeffrey Toobin's book A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down A President, which chronicles the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal that lead to the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Toobin also wrote the book on which season one of Crime Story, The People v. O.J. Simpson, was based. O.J. swept the most recent Emmys and Golden Globes.
"It's a very interesting book," Murphy explains. "It's not really about Hillary Clinton. That book is about the rise of a certain segment of a right-ring group of people who despised the Clintons and used three women, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky and Linda Tripp to try and tear him down. The Toobin book is amazing. And there are a lot of bizarre crimes within that book that you can highlight. But the show isn't really about Hillary Clinton, it really is about the other women. In fact, we might be doing the Clintons with hand puppets [laughs], I don't know. We're more focused on the mechanizations behind the scenes to try and get [Bill Clinton] impeached."
Before shooting Lewinsky, American Crime Story will shoot season three, focusing on the 1997 assassination of Gianni Versace, and season two, about Hurricane Katrina, expected to air in 2018. The first five episodes of Versace will be shot first and then they'll move to Katrina and then back to Versace. "We're striking while the iron's hot," Murphy explains with a laugh. "But that was largely due to actors' availability. If you get Annette Bening, which I did and she says, ‘You've got me these months,' then that's when you do it."
As for the latest on season one breakout star Sterling K. Brown, who also stars in NBC's surprise hit This Is Us, "I want Sterling to be [in Katrina]," Murphy explains. "I'm working on a role for him…I'm hoping we can get him out. A lot of the actors on O.J. are going to be on Katrina. It's sort of an [American] Horror Story situation where we have a troupe of actors and they'll dip in and dip out, based on their availability."
American Crime Story airs on FX.