FX’s American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson isn’t set to premiere until 2016, meaning it’s another year until that circus of a murder trial is at last given the sober consideration that only time and Ryan Murphy can confer. But in the meantime, the network has released its first official cast photos, so you can issue your own judgment on how accurately these actors have captured their real-life counterparts, then watch as that verdict tears America apart.
First up is Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson, wearing the famous suede jacket and mock turtleneck from the early days of the trial, when Simpson was still moonlighting as a rough-and-tumble private eye. While Gooding Jr. and Simpson may be quite different in stature, the actor has eerily captured the cold, haunted look of a man who’s been accused of double homicide, or of starring in Snow Dogs.
We must concede that Courtney B. Vance’s Johnnie Cochran shows some definite similarities in the mustache area—similarities shared by any number of men with healthy follicular growth, we might add. But we submit to you that this man’s glasses are slightly thicker—and dare we say, hipper—than the defense attorney is proven to have worn in 1994. Ladies and gentlemen, if they’re not the same glasses, you must recast it.
Here we see David Schwimmer as the father of modern television, Robert Kardashian, defense attorney and friend of O.J. Simpson, who was there for him when the rain of murder charges started to fall. Kardashian would later go on to great success serving as consigliere to Tony Soprano.
This is Arnold Schwarzenegger. Originally it was supposed to be John Travolta as Robert Shapiro. But clearly FX thought the trial of O.J. Simpson would have been much more interesting if Arnold Schwarzenegger had been there. It’s hard to disagree.
Here’s Sarah Paulson as beleaguered prosecuting attorney Marcia Clark, whose carefully constructed case built on overwhelming physical evidence was no match for America’s doubts about her perm.
And finally, here’s Billy Magnussen as America’s houseboy, Kato Kaelin. American Crime Story will delve into Kato’s complicated relationship with Simpson, as well as his time playing Alison on Melrose Place.
FX has yet to release an official look at Kenneth Choi as Judge Lance Ito, but here is a sneak peek from the production.