Aaron Hernandez will be the focal point of Ryan Murphy’s upcoming TV show American Sports Story.
The limited series about the late NFL star will be based on The Boston Globe and Wondery’s “Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc” podcast series, which was released in 2018.
The forthcoming series — an offshoot of Murphy’s American Story franchise — will follow the ups and downs in Hernandez’s life, “including looking into his identity, his family, his career, his death and his legacy,” per a Variety report from November 2023.
Hernandez was a tight end for the New England Patriots from 2010 to 2013. He was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd in June 2013 and convicted two years later. In April 2015, Hernandez was found guilty on a first-degree murder charge. Subsequently, he was charged for the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado but was acquitted in April 2017. Days after the acquittal, Hernandez took his own life in prison.
American Sports Story was originally picked up by FX in August 2021. At the time, it was revealed to be an anthological series based on various events in the sports world.
Josh Andrés Rivera, who is set to star as Hernandez in the upcoming series, spoke candidly about the “unique and cool challenge” of playing the late athlete.
“It’s a story with a lot of factors, as I’m sure everybody with familiarity towards it knows. There’s the mental health factor, the crime factor, the money, the fame, all of these things,” he told Deadline in November 2023. “As an actor, it’s kind of like it’s a dream to have something so, so juicy to dive into it.”
Keep scrolling for more details on American Sports Story:
Who Is Starring in ‘American Sports Story’ Season 1?
Rivera is “excited” to take on the role of Hernandez and will undergo a physical transformation before stepping into the former NFL star’s shoes.
“They’re trying to get me as big as I can be. NFL shape is a pretty tall order. They’re real big guys,” he told Deadline.
Patrick Schwarzenegger will also star in the series as Hernandez’s University of Florida teammate and former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow.
“I’m playing Tim Tebow!! IM PUMPED,” Schwarzenegger shared via Instagram in November 2023. “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! Honored to be part of this and to play such an awesome character. Can’t wait to bring this story to life.”
Rounding out the cast are Tony Yazbeck and Lindsay Mendez who will play Urban Meyer, head coach at University of Florida, and Tanya Singleton, Hernandez’s cousin, respectively.
What Is ‘American Sports Story’ Season 1 About?
The limited series will follow Hernandez’s life before his 2017 death. It’s based on the 2018 podcast series titled “Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc” podcast released in collaboration with The Boston Globe and Wondery.
Does ‘American Sports Story’ Have a Release Date?
FX has not yet announced a release date for American Sports Story season 1.