Ryan Murphy’s ‘American Sports Story’ Finds Its Aaron Hernandez

FX’s upcoming anthology American Sports Story has found its Aaron Hernandez.

Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes star Josh Andrés Rivera has been tapped to portray the embattled former NFL star in the anthology series from executive producer Ryan Murphy.

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The series, first announced in August 2021, will expand Murphy’s American franchise to reexamine a prominent event involving a sports figure through the prism of today’s world and will tell the story from multiple perspectives. The first season will be based on the Boston Globe and Wondery podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. 

The season will chart the rise and fall of the former New England Patriots tight end, who was convicted for murder and ultimately took his own life. Thematically, it will explore the disparate strands of his identity, family, career, suicide and legacy in sports and American culture.

Stu Zicherman (The Americans) will pen the script and exec produce the series alongside Murphy, Brad FalchukNina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall and Wondery’s Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy and The Boston Globe’s Linda Pizzuti Henry and Ira Napoliello.

Rivera’s credits include a role as Chino in 2021’s West Side Story, the upcoming Hunger Games feature in which he plays Sejanus Plinth, and the feature Cat Person. He’s repped by Paradigm and Jackoway Austen.

“When Ryan Murphy came to us with these two spinoffs and the stories for American Sports Story and American Love Story, we immediately jumped at the opportunity,” FX CEO John Landgraf said when he picked up both spinoffs of the franchise that started with American Horror Story. “What began with American Horror Story has spawned some of the best and most indelible programs of our generation, most notably American Crime Story, which created a beautiful partnership between Ryan, Brad, Nina and Brad. Their alchemy and the way in which they construct these stories is done with such care, such clarity and such dimensionality that creates the magnificence that is The People v. O.J. SimpsonThe Assassination of Gianni Versace and Impeachment. We can’t wait to see what comes next.”

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