‘American Sports Story’: Ryan Murphy Taps ‘West Side Story’ Breakout Josh Andrés Rivera to Star as Aaron Hernandez

Ryan Murphy has found his Aaron Hernandez: Josh Andrés Rivera, who played Chino in “West Side Story,” will star as the late New England Patriots player in the upcoming “American Sports Story.”

The first season of the latest “American” anthology series from Murphy will focus on Hernandez, a once promising football star who was convicted for the murder of fellow player Odin Lloyd. Ultimately, Hernandez took his own life in prison in 2017.

It’s based on the podcast “Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc.,” from the Boston Globe and Wondery.

Stu Zicherman of “The Americans” will write the script and executive produce alongside Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall. Wondery’s Hernan Lopez and Marshall Lewy and Linda Pizutti Henry and Ira Napoliello of The Boston Globe’s will also serve as eps.

Rivera plays Sejanus Plinth in the upcoming “Hunger Games” prequel, “The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes,” which opens on Nov. 17. He is also in Susanna Fogel’s thriller “Cat Person,” which stars Emilia Jones of “CODA” and Nicholas Braun of “Succession.” The actor is repped by Paradigm and Jackoway Austen.

Rivera will also be joined by “Gen V” star Patrick Schwarzenegger, who is set to play former NFL star Tim Tebow, according to media reports. IndieWire was first to report the news of Rivera’s casting. FX has declined to comment.

Back in August 2021 it was announced that the show would be the next installment to Murphy’s “American” franchise, which tells the stories of popular, pivotal and impactful moments in the nation’s history. He also shared that “American Love Story” would also be added to his “American” library, with the first story being centered on John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette.

Both series will be produced by “AHS” studio 20th Television and FX Productions and executive produced by Murphy, Falchuk, Jacobson and Simpson.

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