The first trailer for Ryan Murphy's Feud: Capote vs. the Swans features Naomi Watts, Tom Hollander, Diane Lane, Chloë Sevigny, Calista Flockhart, Demi Moore, Molly Ringwald, and — surprise — the return of Murphy's muse, Jessica Lange. The eight-episode second season of Feud is based on Capote's Women: A True Story of Love, Betrayal, and a Swan Song for an Era by Laurence Leamer.
The official description of Feud: Capote vs. the Swans reads: “Acclaimed writer Truman Capote (Tom Hollander) surrounded himself with a coterie of society’s most elite women – rich, glamorous socialites who defined a bygone era of high society New York – whom he nicknamed ‘the swans.' Beautiful and distinguished, the group included grande dame Barbara ‘Babe' Paley (Naomi Watts), Slim Keith (Diane Lane), C.Z. Guest (Chloë Sevigny), and Lee Radziwill (Calista Flockhart). Enchanted and captivated by these doyennes, Capote ingratiated himself into their lives, befriending them and becoming their confidante, only to ultimately betray them by writing a thinly veiled fictionalization of their lives, exposing their most intimate secrets. When an excerpt from the book Answered Prayers, Capote’s planned magnum opus, was published in Esquire, it effectively destroyed his relationship with his swans, banished him from the high society he so loved, and sent him into a spiral of self-destruction from which he would ultimately never recover.
“The series also stars Demi Moore as Ann “Bang-Bang” Woodward, Molly Ringwald as Joanne Carson, Treat Williams as Bill Paley, Joe Mantello as Jack Dunphy, and Russell Tovey as John O’Shea.” It's unclear who Lange plays in season two, but she famously played Joan Crawford in Feud: Bette and Joan.
Jon Robin Baitz Wrote Feud: Capote vs. the Swans and Serves as Showrunner
Jon Robin Baitz wrote Feud: Capote vs. the Swans and serves as the season two showrunner. Gus Van Sant, Max Winkler, and Jennifer Lynch each directed the season's eight episodes. Baitz told Entertainment Weekly:
“I kept looking at it as a multifaceted examination of what it is to squander your life inadvertently, accidentally, deliberately, self-destructively, on so many different levels. I found it to be a cautionary tale and an accurate representation of what can happen when you're not listening to yourself. Your life becomes about your name on the invitation to the gala, your collections, your standing in a society where you are within a system. The show very much is, for me, about the profound loneliness of beauty and fame.”
The biggest blow to Capote was falling out of favor with Babe, whom he highly regards. “They're two broken people,” said Baitz. “They're both in similar kinds of pain. They're both very invested in survival in society, while being seen. They're both profoundly lonely people. They're both intelligent and performative. I think that they're linked in an understanding that their lives, much like the royal family, require a kind of ceremony about them, require a kind of artfulness at all times.”
Feud: Capote vs. the Swans premieres on FX on January 31 and will stream on Hulu the following day.