Fashion News

Mark your calendars: Penélope Cruz is set to transform into Donatella Versace for TV

Get ready for the glitz and glamour.

By Amber Elias
penelope cruz, donatella versace

Ryan Murphy’s highly anticipated mini-series Versace: American Crime Story has just made its biggest announcement yet. After rumours Lady Gaga or Sarah Paulson would play Donatella Versace, Murphy has confirmed the role is going to Oscar winner Penélope Cruz.

The Spanish actress isn't known for her television roles, although she voiced a character on Sesame Street from 2013 to 2014.

Versace: American Crime Story will be the third season of American Crime Story with season one covering The People v. O. J. Simpson and the yet-to-be released season two, Katrina, looking at the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The tragic story covers Gianni Versace's brutal murder by Andrew Cunanan in 1997 outside the designer's Miami mansion and the killer's subsequent evasion from capture, ending in suicide. Cunanan targeted gay men and was responsible for the murder of at least five others, including Gianni.

The show is based on the book Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth.

Gianni's Miami home.
Gianni's Miami home.

Cruz is set to undergo a massive transformation to play the Italian fashion designer, with Donatella's iconic platinum blonde hair and tanned skin ensuring Cruz will look nothing like herself. The story is also set during and prior to 1997, so get ready to relive the '90s in all their gold-clad, Versace-print glory.

Venezuelan actor Edgar Ramirez is set to play the title character and Donatella’s brother, Gianni Versace. Darren Criss has been cast as murderer Andrew Cunanan.

“Versace’s life is an amazing story,” Ramírez told Vanity Fair at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. “It happened 20 years ago, but it’s still very relevant with the discrimination that is happening in the world today. Ryan is very keen and very sensitive at identifying stories that have a deep connection in society. He creates shows that we can relate to in a deep way — socially and collectively. Versace won’t be an exception.”

“It’s about re-creating, and I hope people will see Versace through my performance. I have discovered not only was he known for glamour, festivity, sexuality, hedonism, and pleasure — he was also very family-oriented. He was way more modest and focused than people would ever imagine,” Ramírez explained about his preparation for the role.

Gianni Versace, Donatella Versace and close friend Elton John in 1993.
Gianni Versace, Donatella Versace and close friend Elton John in 1993.

Versace: American Crime Story is set to premiere in 2018, so fashion fans will have to wait a little bit longer to see Cruz in all her golden glory.