Ryan Murphy has numerous TV series in the works, ranging from “American Horror Story” to the upcoming second season of “American Crime Story”, and for his next project the prolific producer is making TV history by assembling the largest-ever number of transgender series regulars in a scripted TV show.
As Deadline reports, Murphy’s upcoming FX series “Pose” will examine “the juxtaposition of several segments of life and society in New York: the rise of the luxury Trump-era universe, the downtown social and literary scene and the ball culture world.”
It’s the latter segment that led Murphy to cast transgender actors MJ Rodriguez, Indya Moore, Dominique Jackson, Hailie Sahar and Angelica Ross, all of whom will be playing transgender characters.
Heading up the cast of “The Pose” are Even Peters and Kate Mara (who play a New Jersey couple who find themselves becoming sucked into the glamour of New York City in the 1980s), James Van Der Beek (who plays a financial kingpin, and boss of Peters’ character).
Contrary to earlier reports, however, Tatiana Maslany won’t be among the cast; the “Orphan Black” star was to have played a modern dance instructor who takes a special interest in one of her students, played by Ryan Jamaal Swain, but producers have decided to go in another direction with the character.
According to updated info about “The Pose” released on Wednesday, FX reveals that Maslany won’t be appearing the show, as her “role was reconceived and re-written to be a 50-year-old African-American woman. Charlayne Woodard (‘The Leftovers’, ‘Law & Order: SVU, ER) has been cast in that role'”
RELATED: Playboy Introduces First Transgender Playmate!
“We are thrilled that ‘Pose’ pushes the narrative forward by centring on the unique and under-told experiences of trans women and gay people of colour,” co-creator Steven Canals (who created the show with Murphy and Brad Falchuk) told Variety. “Ryan has assembled a strong team of storytellers and innovators to collaborate on telling this important narrative. As a Bronx-bred queer writer of colour, I’m honoured to aid in ushering this groundbreaking show into homes.”
Murphy and his team are taking every measure to capture this 1980s nightclub subculture is as accurately as possible, and have signed Michael Roberson and Twiggy Pucci Garcon as consultants on ball culture, with Hector Xtravaganza, Skylar King and Sol Williams also serving as consultants.
RELATED: Casting Society Of America Holding First-Ever Open Call For Transgender Actors
Meanwhile, Canals is writing scripts with trans actress Janet Mock and “Transparent” writer/producer Our Lady J, with trans activist director Silas Howard serving as a co-exec producer on the show, which will be working with Murphy’s Half Initiative to bring in trans directors for mentorship opportunities.