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True crime is having a giant pop-culture moment, thanks to water-cooler-ready phenomena like Netflix’s 10-part series on the maybe-false prosecution of Steven Avery, “Making a Murderer”; last year’s “Serial”; NPR’s podcast about a real-life murder in 1999 Baltimore; and 2015’s “The Jinx,” HBO’s miniseries about real estate scion turned murder suspect Robert Durst; so we weren’t shocked when we heard last March that Ryan Murphy was creating a new FX miniseries event based on the infamous O.J. Simpson trial. We were, however, seriously excited.
Murphy—the man behind pop-culture favorites “Glee” and “American Horror Story”—seems like a sure bet to capture the trial’s mix of lurid tabloid pulp and cultural significance, and FX is a network that’s been putting out top-notch programming, so we know “American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson” won’t veer too far into Lifetime movie territory.
According to Deadline, the series—which premieres February 2 at 10 p.m. EST—will delve into the trial from the perspective of the lawyers, exploring the behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
At the time of the announcement, casting wasn’t fully complete, but we’ve since learned which actors will take on roles of the 1995 trial’s key players including Simpson, attorneys Robert Kardashian and Johnnie Cochran, and key witnesses like Faye Resnick.
Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson
Gooding will take on the role of the beloved football player turned murder suspect who—spoiler alert!—was exonerated for allegedly killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in one of the most notorious murder trials of all time.
David Schwimmer as Robert Kardashian
Before his family became the media sensations they are today, the late Robert Kardashian gained national recognition as O. J. Simpson’s friend and defense attorney.
John Travolta as Robert Shapiro
Shapiro was another pivotal member of Simpson’s defense team. Fun (weird?) fact: Shapiro is one of the founders of shopping site ShoeDazzle.
Connie Britton as Faye Resnick
Resnick was a close friend of Nicole Brown Simpson, who was a key part of the trial thanks to her assertions that O.J. has abused Nicole during their marriage and that Nicole feared he would kill her. Resnick also had a history of drug abuse.
Selma Blair as Kris Kardashian
We didn’t know her name back then, but Jenner was was married to Robert Kardashian, Simpson’s attorney at the time of the trial, but was also good friends with Nicole Brown Simpson. Kris would often show up in the audience during the trial.
Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochran
Former “Law & Order” star Vance is set to play the late Cochran, who had a leading role in OJ’s defense team.
Jordana Brewster as Denise Brown
The “Fast and the Furious” actress will play Nicole Brown’s grieving sister, Denise.
Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clarke
Ryan Murphy favorite Paulson will play Marcia Clarke, one of the trial’s lead prosecutors.
Billy Magnussen as Kato Kaelin
Magnussen—who last starred as Rapunzel’s comedic prince in the big-screen adaptation of Into the Woods—will play Kato Kaelin, the world’s most infamous houseguest. Kaelin was staying in a guest house on Simpson’s property at the time of Brown’s murder.
Sterling K. Brown as Chris Darden
Army Wives alum Brown will portray Darden, the lead co-counsel on the prosecution side. It was Darden who asked O.J. to try on the bloody glove, which became one of the trial’s most memorable moments.
Malcolm Jamal Warner as A.C. Cowlings
Warner (yep, Theo from “The Cosby Show”) will play Cowlings, the former pro football player and pal of O.J. Simpson, best known in the trial as the driver of the white Ford Bronco in the famous televised police chase.