The limited-series presents an alternative version of history wherein actors and writers of color are more openly part of the Hollywood studio system.
As described in the official plot synopsis, Hollywood “exposes and examines decades-old power dynamics, and what the entertainment landscape might look like if they had been dismantled.” From prostitution and sexual harassment to racism to homophobia and the fascination with homosexuality, these burgeoning young stars are faced with the challenges of an unfair system, with biases against racism, gender, and sexuality that still feel prominent to this day.
Check out the first trailer for Netflix’s Hollywood below:
Hollywood features an ensemble cast of screen legends and rising stars that have become a signature of Murphy shows, including Darren Criss, David Corenswet, Jeremy Pope, Laura Herrier, Samara Weaving, Patti LuPone, Holland Taylor, Maude Apatow, and Dylan McDermott. Some real-life figures are portrayed in the series as well, including Jim Parsons as controversial agent Henry Willson, Jake Picking as gay actor Rock Hudson, and Queen Latifah as Hattie McDaniel, the first Black actor to win an Oscar.
Jake Picking’s Rock Hudson appears twice in the trailer, the first being something that looks to integrate the character more than the other real-life portrayals, apparently aligned with screenwriter Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope). Hudson never publicly came out as gay during his life, only being revealed after the icon was the first notable personality to die from AIDS-related complications in 1985.
Series director and writer Janet Mock stated:
“We turned to the past for direction, uncovering buried history to spin an aspirational tale of what-ifs: What if a band of outsiders was given a chance to tell their own story? What if the person with greenlight power was a woman? The screenwriter a black man? What if the heroine was a woman of color? Is the matinee idol openly gay? And what if they were all invited into the room where the decisions are made, entering fully and unapologetically themselves to leave victorious and vaunted, their place in history cemented.”
The series is the newest addition to Ryan Murphy’s long-list of ongoing projects that he is currently developing and producing for Netflix as part of his massive multi-year deal with the streaming service. Several of these other projects include such headliners as Ratched, a prequel to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starring Sarah Paulson (American Horror Story) as a younger version of the cruel Nurse Ratched; and the film adaptation of hit Broadway musical The Prom featuring a star-studded cast led by Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman; and five different projects that were recently announced.
Check out the poster which takes a cue of the “rising Star” motif, having the all-star young ensemble climbing the ladder to the top of the iconic Hollywood sign. However, this is from the backside of the sign, showing off the corded and rusty side that many people don’t see as they look up at the Hollywood hills, symbolizing the darker nature of the movie industry.
Check out Netflix’s Hollywood when the limited series premieres on May 1.