John Travolta will star as famed attorney Robert Shapiro in the FX anthology American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson.
Shapiro was the most prominent member of Simpson’s legal “Dream Team,” who defended the ex-NFL player when he was tried for the 1994 murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman.
Travolta is also producing this 10-part miniseries exploring various aspects of the trial, which resulted in the jury’s largely unexpected verdict of not guilty. The series will show how the overconfidence of the prosecution, the cleverness of the defense team and the controversial history of the LAPD’s dealings with the African-American community worked together to provide jurors with reasonable doubt.
Starring as Simpson is Oscar Award-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr., whose most recent work includes the feature film Selma. Sarah Paulson of TV’s American Horror Story, will play prosecutor Marcia Clark. David Schwimmer (Friends) is cast as another of Simpson’s defense attorneys, Robert Kardashian Sr.
Surprisingly, this is the first time Travolta has played a television role since his days on Welcome Back Kotter over 30 years ago. He will next be seen on the big screen in the thriller Criminal Activities, premiering in June.
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is expected to debut later this year on FX.