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First American Horror Story, then American Crime Story, and now we’re getting American Sports Story. Ryan Murphy is taking on the sports world with his new anthology series. The first season of American Sports Story will revolve around the rise and fall of NFL player Aaron Hernandez.
American Sports Story was first announced back in 2021, along with American Love Story. With the SAG-AFTRA strike now over, American Sports Story is getting back on track. From the show’s key roles to what we know about a premiere date, get all the latest updates about American Sports Story.
‘American Sports Story’ Premiere Date
American Sports Story does not have a premiere date yet. The SAG-AFTRA strike recently came to an end after more than 100 days, so most TV and movie projects have been put on hold for most of the summer.
Production on American Sports Story had started earlier this year, and it’s unclear how much filming was done before the double Hollywood strikes began. American Sports Story will likely premiere in late 2024.
What Will ‘American Sports Story’ Be About?
The first season of American Sports Story will chronicle Aaron Hernandez’s rise and fall. The season is based on the Boston Globe and Wondery podcast Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc. Aaron rose to sports fame as a tight end at the University of Florida and eventually the New England Patriots.
Off the field, Aaron found himself in serious legal troubles. He was found guilty of first-degree murder in 2015 and sentenced to life in prison for killing Odin Lloyd. He was also indicted for the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, but he was acquitted. Just days after being acquitted of the double homicide, Aaron took his own life. He died by suicide in prison at the age of 27.
Who Is Playing Aaron Hernandez?
Josh Andrés Rivera will play Aaron Hernandez in American Sports Story. His casting was announced by IndieWire in November 2023. Josh was cast earlier this year, but it wasn’t confirmed until now.
Josh Andrés Rivera will play Aaron Hernandez. (Shutterstock)
Josh is best known for playing Chino in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake in 2021. His most recent role is Sejanus Plinth in The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes, which will be released in theaters on November 17. He stars alongside Tom Blyth and Rachel Zegler. Rachel and Josh have been dating after meeting on the set of West Side Story.
Josh got the part of Aaron Hernandez while he was filming The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes. Nina Jacobson, who has produced all of the Hunger Games movies, is one of the executive producers of American Sports Story.
“I wanted Ryan [Murphy] to have a discovery process. So I was just, ‘Yeah, this guy’s good. Check him out.’ And we just threw him in the mix. And he stole the part, just like he did Ballad,” Nina told IndieWire. “Especially having watched him on set, he is a grounded, likable, natural, and compelling presence, super-prepared. I was thrilled once they brought in a bunch of people, and let Josh rise to the top, which I knew he would. And we had him all tatted out. He was trained to be huge and muscular; he loved lifting weights.”
‘American Sports Story’ Cast
Josh will be joined by Patrick Schwarzenegger, who will play former quarterback Tim Tebow. Aaron and Tim were friends after playing together at the University of Florida. Once the SAG-AFTRA strike was over, Patrick posted about his exciting American Sports Story role.
Patrick Schwarzenegger will play Tim Tebow. (Shutterstock)
“Also… im playing Tim Tebow!! IM PUMPED,” his Instagram caption began. “This story is so wild. Aaron Hernandez had a wild life and career. I’m a massive football fan and I only knew a sliver of the full story… it’s crazy!”
He continued, “Honored to be part of this and to play such an awesome character. Can’t wait to bring this story to life. @joshandresrivera is a beast and is crushing It as Aaron. Can’t wait for you guys to watch It. Thank you @ryanmurphyproductions for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. Means a lot!”
Lindsay Mendez has also joined the cast of American Sports Story as Tanya Singleton, according to Deadline. Tanya was Aaron’s cousin and “favorite relative who becomes his de-facto mother.” Lindsay is a Tony winner, having won for her performance in Carousel.
Lindsay also shared her excitement about being a part of the American Sports Story cast. “So excited and proud to join this phenomenal team and tell this story,” she wrote on Instagram. “It is a crazy busy season for my family and I, and I’m so grateful to them for their love and support. I honored and privileged to be a working actor, thanks to @sagaftra and @actorsequity.”
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