Casting Conversation: Hurricane Katrina To Follow O.J. Simpson Story – Our Top Choice For Mayor

Since Feb. 2, TV fans have been dedicated and fascinated each Tuesday night with FX Network’s critically-acclaimed mini-series “American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson.”  Unfortunately, the last episode of the series aired on April 5.

The highly-rated drama focused on Simpson’s trial of the century and all the key players involved.  Now, there’s huge Emmy Award buzz for many of actors involved.

The star-studded cast included Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. (Simpson), Golden Globe winner John Travolta (Robert Shapiro), Tony Award winner Courtney B. Vance (Johnnie Cochran), SAG Award winner David Schwimmer (Robert Kardashian) and Critics’ Choice Award winner Sarah Paulson (Marcia Clark).

American CrimeRounding out the cast were Sterling K. Brown (Christopher Darden), Kenneth Choi (Judge Lance Ito), Nathan Lane (F. Lee Bailey), Malcolm-Jamal Warner (Al Cowlings), Keesha Sharp (Dale Cochran), Christian Clemenson (William Hodgman), Connie Britton (Faye Resnick), Bruce Greenwood (Gil Garcetti), Selma Blair (Kris Jenner), Joseph Siravo (Fred Goldman) and Steven Pasquale (Det. Mark Fuhrman); in addition to a host of guest stars.

The series is being touted for its casting in particular—the roles of Darden, Judge Ito, Clark, Kardashian, Goldman and Cochran were dead-ringers. The only real casting faux pas, to many, was Gooding as Simpson. While his acting was solid, Gooding bared little resemblance to Simpson and his high-speaking voice was a vast difference from Simpson’s deeper tone.

Lamman Rucker & O.J. Simpson

Lamman Rucker & O.J. Simpson

After deliberating with “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” star J. August Richards, we couldn’t agree more with his suggestion that actor Lamman Rucker would have ideal casting for Simpson. Physically, the star of Tyler Perry’s “Meet the Browns” and the upcoming drama “Greenleaf” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network really has a striking resemblance to the troubled NFL great.

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But now “American Crime Story: The People V. O.J. Simpson” creator Ryan Murphy is looking to captivate viewers with the story of Hurricane Katrina.

Hurricane KatrinaMurphy revealed earlier this year to The Hollywood Reporter that Vance will be back on board for his next installment dealing with the tragedy in New Orleans. He also said that many of the other “The People V. O.J. Simpson” principles have expressed interest in returning as well.

“I want this show to be a socially conscious, socially aware examination of different types of crime around the world…And in my opinion, Katrina was a f—ing crime — a crime against a lot of people who didn’t have a strong voice and we’re going to treat it as a crime. That’s what this show is all about,” Murphy said about depicting the 2005 storm.

James Lesure & Ray Nagin

James Lesure & Ray Nagin

As fascinating as the idea of Murphy taking on the storm of the century on his next “American Crime” focus, we believe there is only one actor who can play former Mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin, a principal figure in the Katrina story. James Lesure, the former star of “Las Vegas” and “Men at Work,” who stars in ABC’s upcoming sitcom, “Uncle Buck,” is the spitting image of NOLA’s now incarcerated former leader.

Murphy and FX are still negotiating source materials for the script about Katrina, but they anticipate starting production on “American Crime: Hurricane Katrina” this fall.

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