The first installment of Ryan Murphy’s next FX anthology series has found its leading man. Josh Andres Rivera will portray professional football player-turned-convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez in the upcoming American Sports Story.
Based on Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc, a podcast produced by the Boston Globe and Wondery, the season will chronicle the events that landed the New England Patriots tight end in prison, and what led to him taking his own life in 2017.
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“I wanted Ryan [Murphy] to have a discovery process. So I was just [like], ‘Yeah, this guy’s good. Check him out.’ And we just threw him in the mix. And he stole the part,” producer Nina Jacobson tells TVLine’s sister site IndieWire, which broke the news of Rivera’s casting. “Especially having watched him on set, he is a grounded, likable, natural, and compelling presence, super-prepared. I was thrilled once they brought in a bunch of people, and let Josh rise to the top, which I knew he would. And we had him all tatted out. He was trained to be huge and muscular; he loved lifting weights.”
Rivera, whose past credits include Steven Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story remake, will next be seen in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.
Additionally, Patrick Schwarzenegger — currently starring in Prime Video’s Gen V, a spinoff of The Boys — will appear in American Sports Story as NFL great Tim Tebow, according to Deadline.
American Sports Story was first announced in August 2021, along with another offshoot, American Love Story. Will you be tuning in? Drop a comment with your thoughts below.
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