John Travolta has joined David Schwimmer in the upcoming television miniseries about the OJ Simpson trial. He will play the famed criminal defense attorney Robert Shapiro.
It was the trial of the century. Everyone in America over the age of 5 – and most of the people all over the world – followed every day of the televised trial back in 1995. No one doubted that Simpson killed his ex-wife and her friend. But he was acquitted anyway.
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The Oscar nominated Travolta will play the leader of what came to be known as “The Dream Team.” Simpson’s huge defense team also included famed civil liberties lawyer Alan Dershowitz and Robert Kardashian – Kim’s father – who will be played by Friends alum David Schwimmer.
Robert Shapiro was of course Jewish. His fellow defense attorney on the Dream team famously compared one of the detectives who investigated Simpson to Hitler. This led the Jewish father of one of Simpson’s victims, Ron Goldman, to give a tear filled speech to the press condemning Cochran for making the trial all about race.
Shapiro suffered from this too. The not guilty verdict was revealed in a Los Angeles courtroom on Erev Yom Kippur and while in synagogue that night Shapiro was reportedly booed by his fellow Jews.
The 60 year old Travolta will also produce the ten part miniseries. It will be based on Jeffrey Toovin’s book “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson, ” is written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewsk and will begin production this spring. Cuba Gooding Jr. and Sarah Paulson.
Shapiro himself has not, as of yet, commented on the casting. It will be interesting to see what he thinks of it.