Variety reported on Thursday that Pfeiffer, who starred in recent films such as the upcoming “French Exit,” as well as “mother!,” “Ant-Man and the Wasp,” and “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” will portray Betty Ford, who served as First Lady of the United States from 1974 to 1977. Susanne Bier will direct and executive-produce the hour-long series. The filmmaker most recently served as the director behind HBO’s “The Undoing,” and prior, Netflix’s “Bird Box,” but also helmed Danish favorites including “After the Wedding” and “Open Hearts.”
A premiere date for “The First Lady” is still under wraps.
The synopsis for the show, which was previously titled “First Ladies,” reads: “In the East Wing of the White House, many of history’s most impactful and world-changing decisions have been hidden from view, made by America’s charismatic, complex and dynamic first ladies. This series will peel back the curtain on the personal and political lives of these enigmatic women, with season one focusing on Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford, and Michelle Obama.”
Pfeiffer will star in the series alongside previously announced co-star Viola Davis, who will portray Michelle Obama. The Roosevelt casting role has yet to be announced.
“Michelle Pfeiffer and Susanne Bier have joined the brilliant and incomparable Viola Davis to bring the remarkable stories of these women into urgent, engrossing and long overdue focus,” Amy Israel, executive vice president of scripted programming at Showtime, said in a statement. “Michelle brings authenticity, vulnerability and complexity to all her roles, and Susanne is a visionary director who commands the screen with fierce honesty and a singular visual style. With these formidable artists in front of and behind the camera, we couldn’t be more thrilled – especially at this unique moment in time for our nation – about the powerful promise of ‘The First Lady.’”
The series is written and executive-produced by Aaron Cooley. Other executive producers include Davis, Bier, Julius Tennon, Andrew Wang, Cathy Schuman, Jeff Gaspin, and Brad Kaplan. “The First Lady” is produced by Showtime and Lionsgate Television.
“The First Lady” will mark Pfeiffer’s first television acting credit in four years, following her starring role in 2017’s “The Wizard of Lies” HBO TV movie.