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« What's on your cinematic mind? | Main | Niki Caro Tapped for Live Action "Mulan" »
Wednesday
Feb152017

Feud - Titles & Trailer

Feud: Bette and Joan is just 18 days away.

We're almost more excited about it than the Oscars despite reservations about the casting and tone. Indie Wire loves what they've seen of it so far. They even love that Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange read more like themselves rather than as mimics of Bette & Joan though I personally worry about this very thing. But we shall see. Anything that reminds contemporary audiences to seek out cultural knowledge of classics is something to be at least a little bit excited about. 

Trailer and opening credit sequence are after the jump...

The trailer is narrated by Olivia de Havilland (Catherine Zeta Jones) for reasons as yet unclear to us. De Havilland was personal friends with Bette but still... strange choice. Shouldn't Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis) have been narrating if someone needed to be? Judy Davis looks like she's having great fun as Hopper (who has of course been played by many actresses in the past, most recently Helen Mirren in Trumbo and Tilda Swinton as a fictionalized version of her type in Hail Caesar!

And, here's the title sequence which we're already hoping is nominated in our favorite low profile Emmy category: Best Main Titles.

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Reader Comments (39)

Surely they're setting up Catherine Zeta-Jones for Feud Season 2: Olivia and (other) Joan?

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWalter L. Hollmann

I BARELY TOUCHED HER!

Well, I'm still not feeling CZJ as Olivia, but we'll see.

So Sarah Paulson isn't in the trailer and neither are Jackie Hoffman and Alison Wright (both of whom get a card in the opening credits). I'm tickled to see Jackie (a former student of mine) billed above most of the big stars.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Love Alison Wright!

I can't wait. This premieres on my birthday and I'm regarding it as a present for me.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

I still haven't forgiven Sarandon for idiotically disparage Hillary, for doing everything in her power to dampen enthusiasm for the only person who could stop Trump. I swore I'd never watch another thing with her in it again. It's too bad, because I loved this movie, and I love Bette Davis.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

I'm not feeling CZJ either - but then again I've never really felt her in anything.

Susan Sarandon is a good fit for Bete Davis, I think.

Jessica Lange is not a good fit for Joan Crawford IMO.

Unlike you, Nathaniel, I actually like the tone they're going for; campy fun - it shouldn't be a serious show - it should be fun and over the top.
Mommie Dearest turned up to 11!
I can't wait to see it!

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Ryan Murphy's approach to casting: offer roles to big name divas (preferably Oscar-winning) with no concern for whether they're appropriate or not. Kathy Bates as Joan Blondell? CJZ as Olivia de Havilland? They're just not right physically.

Sarandon and Lange are great actresses, but they're both too old to be playing Davis and Crawford, who were only in their mid-50s at the time this takes place. Sarandon seems to lack Davis's hardness, and Jessica Lange looks like Jessica Lange in a dark wig. When you're playing two women as iconic as Bette and Joan, looks do count, and I'm just not seeing it with these two. They didn't even bother to give them blue contact lenses.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJames

I thought the ages were off I mean Sarandon is 70,Bening and Moore now there are 2 divas I'd have loved to have seen Moore as Crawford and Bening as Davis.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

Baby Jane was half the story. Remember the attempted team up in 1964's Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte! That's where fire works continues and De Haviland steps in to replace Crawford.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKbrady

@Nathaniel I agree with all you commented on. I do worry about the voice patterns, they were both very distinct.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMax

James, yes Bette Davis was in her mid 50s when she made Baby Jane, but she looked at least 10 years older!

And when Sarandon's in full Baby Jane-look - with the wig and the powdered white face, she looka a great deal like Bette Davis.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Kbrady: The limited series obviously doesn't stop with Baby Jane. It deals with Hush Hush and the Oscars, too. If not, how to explain the presence of deHavilland, who replaced Crawford in Hush Hush, and Geraldine Page, who was nominated alongside Davis for the Oscar in maybe the most competitive Best Actress race ever?

Nominated that year:
Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker) WINNER
Bette Davis (Baby Jane)
Katharine Hepburn (Lond Day's Journey Into Night)
Geraldine Page (Sweet Bird of Youth)
Lee Remick (Days of Wine and Roses)

Among those left out: Joan Crawford, Rosalind Russell, Shirley MacLaine and Sophia Loren.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

Sarandon's "accent" seems off...

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

The claws are already out. Lange and Sarandon are too old, Lange doesn't look like Crawford, blah blah blah. Can we just sit back, relax and wait until we all have actually seen it? Focus on sharpening your claws for now and then let them out later would be my advice. People just can't help but be negative.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterheikoS

I'm ready to accept Lange as Crawford because she more of less turned into her between Grey Gardens and four seasons of American Horror Story.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Y'all, who know which actresses Ryan Murphy & Co. offered which parts first (although I presume that Jessica Lange was the first choice for Joan Crawford, as ill-suited as that may appear).

With the sound off, CZJ looks more like Secretariat-/Trumbo-era Diane Lane than ODH. Nevertheless, everyone looks to be having a grand old time, which is what I'll be having I'm sure. Can't wait for March 5!

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Initially I thought Susan was a perfect casting choice as Bette while I was iffy on Jessica as joan. However after watching these trailers/clips I'm feeling the reverse. Jessica Lange is nailing Crawford! I'm can't wait!!

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

@ Mareko

The project has been in development for years, with both Lange and Sarandon attached.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Sarandon is using her own voice not Davis's seems odd to me,when it's one of the most distinctive American Film Star Voices ever.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordon

@Jeff: I'm with you on Sarandon. Too bad, because she looks like she might be good in this.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHustler

Titles are very Harry Potter Deathly Hallows..and i like it! lol

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commentermj

I think that an actress being in her 50s in the 1960s is the equivalent, Hollywood-speaking, of an actress being in her 70s in our present time, so the aged up casting makes sense to me.

I skimmed a couple of reviews and it sounds like the making of Baby Jane AND the Oscars only take up the first three of eight episodes -- I'm guessing the rest is devoted to Sweet Charlotte, which is where the ol' broads really went bonkers.

I also have a feeling Murphy might not be able to help himself from diving into the last years of these ladies -- Joan Crawford's last days are pretty sad, all holed up in her NY apartment after seeing pictures of herself she didn't like. And of course Bette getting the last nasty laugh.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I'm assuming/hoping that Lange's authority and talent will make her Crawford compelling - because she sure as hell doesn't look like her. Sarandon, on the other hand makes a bang-up Bette. Beyond amazing when she's in full Baby Jane mode - and I'm talking about the emotional wallop as well as the look. Zeta-Jones is all wrong as de Havilland. Too in your face beautiful for one thing. And - at least in the trailer - she doesn't capture that patiently condescending graciousness, all overdone concern, that became a bit of a de Havilland trademark over the years. I think another actress might have fun nailing that quality. Still, of course, I'll be watching.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKen

I don't like how it looks at all, but I also didn't like The Beguiled trailer you all raved about, so I guess I should go back to my old no-trailers habit.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

^hey, I didn't rave about The Beguiled trailer!

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

As a matter of fact, I trashed The Beguiled trailer!

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterUlrich

Of course we want entertainment, but the characterizations seem cheap? That is the problem with trying to embody screen legends that were infinitely more successful on screen than the women playing them.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJono

"Guess who's in a wheelchair now, Bland?"

--Alaska Thunderfuck in Wha' Ha' Happened to Baby JJ?

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterParadiseLaust

i was loving the credit sequence right up until "directed by ryan murphy"

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterpar

I'm with Jeff & Hustler. I can't look at Sarandon anymore without wanting to punch her in the face. HARD PASS on this one.

February 15, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteph

^^^I know how y'all feel but I've been looking forward to this for awhile. Knowing me, though, I may start watching the first episode and become so overwhelmed with rage that I have to stop. We'll see.

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

the emmys is going to be feud vs big little lies this year. Witherspoon vs kidman vs lange vs sarandon. Unless the cast of big little lies decides to go all supporting which I doubt. Kidman could though.

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

This looks so promising! Yes, Lange doesn't look like Crawford at all, even under tonnes o make up (is Dunaway not avail?? Lol) but the attention to details really shows in the trailer.

Sarandon really comes across v strongly (which is a good tink to me) in the trailer, she is really in tt Bette Davis no nonsense diva mode. Lange seems too subdued in contrast. Can't wait for it!

It will be such a huge gay event, i bet!

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterClaran

I highly recommend listening to the episodes "Six Degrees of Joan Crawford" on the You Must Remember This podcast, by Karina Longworth. Esp the one on Betty Davis. Good stuff to know before watching this new show.

http://www.youmustrememberthispodcast.com/

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Bette and Joan, and this movie in particular, are so iconic that it doesn't much matter if the actors look like them. As long as they capture the spirit of these two legends they should be fine. This show is already gonna need a lot of suspension of disbelief on the part of the viewer, so the highest expectation should be that it's entertaining. And I think that's already pretty much done.

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

With Jeff and Hustler as well. I cannot support Sarandon in any project. And she is horribly miscast- looking at the trailer she is playing Sarandon instead of Davis.

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

At first look I thought I didn't know that Ellen Burstyn was in this show too, then I looked up the cast and saw she wasn't in it. After rewatching the trailer I was thinking well who is the narrator, she looked kinda like Ellen Burstyn when it dawn on me, I was like 'crap! that's Catherine Zeta-Jones! who was she supposed to be in the show?' then i looked at the cast again and 'double crap! there's no way in hell that she's playing Olivia de Havilland!!!'

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterPete

@Pam -- That podcast series is great -- the Crawford stuff is so detailed and juicy.

I also recommend her long and depressing and possibly very relevant podcast series on the Hollywood Blacklist, a cautionary reminder that in paranoid political times, the industry didn't always praise its rabble-rousing leftist speechmakers.

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterHustler

I concur, re: the incredible You Must Remember This podcast. There's an eight-part series called 'Dead Blondes' available now, but last season's Six Degrees of Joan Crawford may have been the high-water mark (along with Charles Manson's Hollywood from a couple of years back).

Interesting tidbit is Bette Davis' impassioned defense of Joan Crawford following the publication of Mommie Dearest. (It was something to the effect of, Joan didn't deserve that kind of betrayal, post-mortem.) Little did she know that her own daughter would do a similar book about Bette, who blackballed B.D. for the remainder of her days. All too sad.

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

This doesn't sound like it's going to adhere to the facts any more than "Mommie Dearest."

February 16, 2017 | Unregistered Commenterrick gould

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