“I wanna take the story of Hollywood and give it a rewrite,” aspiring screenwriter Archie Coleman (Jeremy Pope) says in the first Hollywood trailer. That sentiment is the driving force for Ryan Murphy’s titular limited series, which dismantles our idea of Hollywood’s Golden Age in favor of a more inclusive showbiz narrative.
Co-created by Murphy and Ian Brennan, Hollywood follows a group of actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Tinseltown as they try to make it. “Each character offers a unique glimpse behind the gilded curtain of Hollywood’s Golden Age, spotlighting the unfair systems and biases across race, gender, and sexuality that continue to this day. Provocative and incisive, Hollywood exposes and examines decades-old power dynamics, and what the entertainment landscape might look like if they had been dismantled,” a synopsis reads.
Along with Pope, the stars of Hollywood include Darren Criss as up-and-coming director Raymond, David Corenswet as actor Jack, Laura Harrier as actress Camille, Samara Weaving as actress Claire, Jim Parsons as agent Henry Willson, Dylan McDermott as Hollywood connector Ernie, Holland Taylor as studio exec Ellen Kincaid, Patti LuPone as socialite Avis, Joe Mantello as studio exec Dick, and Jake Picking as iconic actor Rock Hudson. Mira Sorvino, Rob Reiner, and Maude Apatow will appear in the series as guest stars.
The first trailer also reveals a surprise cameo from Queen Latifah, who plays Hattie McDaniel, the first person of color to win an Oscar (for 1939’s Gone with the Wind). McDaniel tells Harrier’s character, “It’s not about whether you win or lose, it’s about being in the room.” Hollywood will premiere on Netflix May 1, the second project of Murphy’s to hit the streaming service following last fall’s The Politician.