Skip to main content

American Horror Story's Ryan Murphy almost made an Audrey Hepburn rom com... with Steven Spielberg

The movie, titled Why Can't I Be Audrey Hepburn, would have followed a recently dumped news achor kindling romance with her ex-fiance's friend

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

Popverse's top stories of the day


American Horror Story season 12 is back on the air, catapulting series creator Ryan Murphy back VIP status to among horror fans. But blood and guts wasn't always Murphy's bread and butter - the industry veteran is also responsible for medical drama Nip/Tuck, musical comedy Glee, and for a brief, shining moment, nearly made an Audrey Hepburn-centric rom com... with none other than Steven Spielberg producing.

Some context: The script followed a Hepburn-obsessed news anchor, who begins the flick by being left at the altar, looking for love in the best friend of her ex-fiance. Spielberg first noticed it in the 90s, during which time Murphy was still primarily a writer. Murphy had also just recently gone through a pretty tough breakup, which inspired the plot. Here's the story in Murphy's own words, thanks to the ScriptShadow blog:

"[...] I wrote the script based on a breakup I was going through at the time called Why Can’t I Be Audrey Hepburn? It’s this great soufflé of romantic comedy and it was close to her death, and [Spielberg] bought the script and we worked on it [...]"

He continues, "It had every female star in Hollywood attached to it—right before they became big stars. Renee Zellwegger, Jennifer Aniston wanted to do it … Halle Berry wanted to do it. It was thrilling to sit in a room with him and basically have him talk about movies."

And Murphy's not making that up - according to a Screen Daily article from 2001, the film eventally snagged Jennifer Love Hewitt for the role. Alas, even Hewitt at the height of her star power, not to mention Steven-goddam-Spielberg, could get the movie made, and over two decades later, there's been no talk of a revival.

But hey, Ryan Murphy's star has only grown, and with the long-anticipated end to American Horror Story Delicate just around the corner, he'll be free to work on more passion projects soon.

And as for which female star could be attached, well, how many seasons of American Horror Story has Emma Roberts been in? The two have a history, is all I'm saying.

American Horror Story season 12 is streaming on Hulu now.


Let Popverse carry you into the dark with our American Horror Story watch guide. Already a fan of the show? Stay informed on the AHS Season 12 release date. Think you're an expert? See if you know which AHS cast member has returned the most times. And if you've finished the series and still need more, check out these six shows to watch after American Horror Story.