×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Penelope Cruz to Play Donatella Versace in Ryan Murphy’s FX ‘American Crime Story’

Penelope Cruz has signed on to play Donatella Versace in FX’s “Versace: American Crime Story,” the third installment of the anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Variety has learned.

Versace: American Crime Story” will explore the murder of Gianni Versace, who was killed on the steps of his home in Miami Beach by serial murderer Andrew Cunanan, who killed five people that year and then killed himself on a house boat, eight days after killing Versace.

Cruz joins previously announced stars Edgar Ramirez, who will play Gianni Versace, and Darren Criss, who will portray Cunanan.

American Crime Story” marks Cruz’s regular television debut, following a huge movie career. The Oscar-winning Spanish actress is known for films such as “Vanilla Sky,” “Blow,” “Volver,” “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” She was the first Spanish actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and also the first to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress.

Cruz is the latest movie star to come on board to one of Murphy’s projects. The prolific producer has a track record for bringing A-listers onto his series from the likes of Jessica Lange (“American Horror Story”) to Susan Sarandon (“Feud”) to Catherine Zeta-Jones (“Feud”) to Julia Roberts (“The Normal Heart”).

When the “Versace” season was announced, tabloid rumors circulated of Lady Gaga playing Donatella. However, following those false reports, Murphy told Variety that the superstar singer — who collaborated with Murphy on “American Horror Story: Hotel” — would not be starring as Donatella, and she was never in talks to play the part. He told us, “When you’re going to do a show like Versace, it’s a five-month commitment, it’s a very big show, we’re shooting it all over the world. So I just don’t think with her schedule, I knew that it would never had worked. But I would love to work with her on something in the future.”

The Versace-centric season will be based on the book “Vulgar Favors” by Maureen Orth. Tom Rob Smith will write various episodes and exec produce with Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, and Brad Falchuk. Fox 2 is the studio.

“Versace” begins production next month, but is not expected to air until 2018. The second season, which will center around the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, will also air in 2018, but before the “Versace” season.

Cruz is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Katrina Bayonas in Spain.

More TV

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

  • Luis Fonsi Erika Ender Latin Grammys

    The Second Latin Explosion: How 'Despacito' Ushered in a New Generation of Stars

    Music is an ever-evolving art, and for the Latin Recording Academy, that’s meant riding multiple waves of attention. The most recent arrived with the stratospheric success of “Despacito,” which kicked off a second Latin Explosion with full force in 2017. The Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee hit, later featuring verses by Justin Bieber, made Latin [...]

  • TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring

    TV Review: 'Catherine the Great' Starring Helen Mirren

    For some, “Dame Helen Mirren playing the Catherine the Great” is all the convincing they’ll need to watch this new biographical limited series, which is perfectly understandable. The casting of Mirren in the role, which follows the Russian empress in the embattled latter years of her life, is a smart choice that proves its worth [...]

  • Ricky Martin Celia Cruz Gloria Estefan

    From Idea to Legacy: Latin Grammy Awards Mark 20 Years of Global Recognition

    The idea of creating a separate organization to honor the diversity of Latin music was a discussion that took place for years before it actually happened, but an event driven by one of pop music’s most important crossover artists solidified it. During the 41st Grammy Awards ceremony, a young Ricky Martin was scheduled to perform [...]

  • Science Fair

    Disney Plus Fleshes Out Nonfiction Slate, Including 'Howard,' 'Science Fair,' Mickey Mouse Docu

    Disney Plus further fleshed out its nonfiction content slate at an International Documentary Association showcase event Friday, as the streamer, preparing for its Nov. 12 launch, continues to flesh out its programming strategy. Among the announcements: The streamer has acquired the global distribution rights to “Howard,” the Don Hahn-directed documentary about “Aladdin” and “Beauty and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content