Courtney B. Vance Lands Johnnie Cochran Role in American Crime Story

Fire away with your best “If the role fits…” zinger.

American Crime Story: The People Vs O.J. Simpson has cast Courtney B. Vance (Law & Order: Criminal Intent, State of Affairs) as flamboyant defense attorney Johnnie Cochran, TVLine has learned.

American Crime Story, from American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy, got a straight-to-series order in October — with a 10-episode first season focusing on the murder trial of NFL star Simpson, who was accused and ultimately acquitted of killing his wife Nicole Brown Simpson.

Vance will star alongside John Travolta as Robert Shapiro and David Schwimmer as OJ pal Robert Kardashian — the three of whom headed up Simpson’s legal “dream team.”

Oscar winner Cuba Gooding Jr. will play Simpson, with Sarah Paulson portraying prosecutor Marcia Clark.

The story will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson, which, according to FX, “explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution overconfidence, defense shrewdness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.”

American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is being written by Golden Globe-winning producers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Big Eyes, The People v. Larry Flynt); Murphy will direct the first episode.

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