A movie biopic starring Antonio Banderas as late fashion designer Gianni Versace is no longer going ahead due to an upcoming TV series about his murder.
It was announced in summer 2016 that The Mask of Zorro star was teaming up with Oscar-winning director Bille August to star in a movie about the Italian fashion icon, who was murdered in 1997 outside his home in Miami Beach, Florida at the age of 50.
They were due to begin production in December, but Antonio has admitted they aren’t going forward with the project now that producer Ryan Murphy is tackling the murder for the latest installment in his American Crime Story TV anthology series, which stars Edgar Ramirez as Versace and Penelope Cruz as his sister Donatella.
“Actually I saw Bille at Cannes Film Festival,” Antonio told The Hollywood Reporter. “Because there was a TV show going on, that actually my friend Penelope is doing, we looked at each other and said ‘this movie doesn’t make sense anymore’.”
He is also convinced that he probably wasn’t the right person for the role.
“I have to confess now…I don’t think I am Gianni,” he added. “I met him in the house where he was killed, actually, a couple of times. He was a very shy man, very laid back, beautiful, very sweet, but there was something about him that I don’t have.”
The project also didn’t have the backing of the Versace family and a representative for the fashion label put out a statement at the time saying they had “neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming movie about Versace“.
Antonio also assured the publication he will be tuning into The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story when the series airs in early 2018.
“I think Penelope is a great actress. I know Donatella very well, and I know that Penelope is going to engulf her,” he said. “I’m going to watch it definitely.”
The series also stars Ricky Martin as Versace’s boyfriend Antonio D’Amico and Darren Criss as serial killer Andrew Cunanan.