Penélope Cruz is Donatella Versace in 'Versace: American Crime Story'

A sad loss The blonde Italian is seen here with Gianni who built the Versace empire in the 1990s in NYC

A sad loss The blonde Italian is seen here with Gianni who built the Versace empire in the 1990s in NYC

"Versace" follows the 1997 assassination of iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace.

"Versace: American Crime Story", the third installment of the series, starts production in April and will air next year on FX. While the Hurricane Katrina-centric follow-up iteration to Murphy's acclaimed 2016 FX anthology series American Crime Story is circling a premiere date, the 2018-set third iteration has just procured an Oscar victor to play its central character in Penélope Cruz. We know that personally, we're far more intrigued by the Versace story than we are Katrina: American Crime Story, which is meant to be season 2. The screenplay will be based on the book "Vulgar Favors" by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth.

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Cruz joins previously-cast Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace and Darren Criss - a star of earlier Ryan Murphy show Glee - as Gianni's murderer Andrew Cunanan. Katrina will be the second installment in the series and will air in 2018.

American Crime Story's core producing team - Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, all Emmy winners for People v O.J. Simpson as Best Limited Series - executive produce Versace alongside Smith. It was initially rumored that Lady Gaga, who appeared in the last season of American Horror Story, might be a shoe-in for Donatella. (Showrunner Murphy shot down those reports in January). "She's a friend. But she's very busy this next year - she's doing Super Bowl and then she's doing A Star Is Born and I believe that she's going on tour", said Murphy. "But I would love to work with her on something in the future". Though Pepe Cruz is a surprising, and wholly welcome, choice for Donatella, she's got some big, Gina Gershon-sized stilettoes to fill.

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