When it was announced that the second and third seasons of American Crime Story were being flip-flopped (with The Assassination of Gianni Versace expected to premiere early 2018), there were some rumblings that Katrina was experiencing some problems that might further delay or scrap the project entirely. Those concerns were put to rest during this week's TCA's when it was announced that work on FX's limited series was moving forward with a new focus, a new producer and a beloved Crime alum taking lead.
Ryan Murphy has secured the rights to Pulitzer Prize-winning author Sheri Fink's book Five Days At Memorial to use as source material for the season-long storyline. Five Days chronicles the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans in 2005, where Dr. Anna Pou and her medical staff made the decision to euthanize critically ill patients after the hospital was left defenseless and without power for days. Television, film and theater producer Scott Rudin (Moneyball, Silicon Valley) was the original rights owner for the book since 2013 and has come on board as an executive producer alongside Crime's executive producers Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.
Although we're still a little while off from any major casting or creative announcements, all signs appear to point to Sarah Paulson following up her Emmy-winning role as Marcia Clark in The People v. O.J. Simpson with the lead role of Dr. Pou in Katrina. Though Annette Bening, Dennis Quaid, and Matthew Broderick were originally announced as being attached to the project, there is no confirmation that will still be the case now that the season's storyline is moving in a new direction. Though the third season is still looking for a writer/showrunner to pen the adaptation, Katrina is expected to start production in Spring 2018 with an early 2019 premiere.