Penelope Cruz to play Donatella Versace in ‘American Crime Story’


Penelope Cruz has signed on to replace Lady Gaga as Donatella Versace in Ryan Murphy’s upcoming American Crime Story drama.

The Poker Face singer was cast as late fashion designer Gianni Versace’s sister last year (16), but the 30-year-old had to drop out of the project due to her busy schedule.

Penelope has now stepped into Versace: American Crime Story, opposite Edgar Ramirez and Darren Criss. Edgar will portray Gianni, while Criss will play Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, in the 10-episode series, which will begin filming next month (Apr17) in Los Angeles and Miami, Florida.

Darren Criss

The third season of Murphy’s American Crime Story will focus on the 1997 murder of Gianni. It will be based on journalist Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. Versace was murdered on the steps of his Miami mansion by serial killer Cunanan, who killed himself eight days later.

The series is scheduled to premiere next year (17).

Murphy’s first American Crime Story opus was last year’s (16) The People v. O.J. Simpson. The TV mogul is currently working on a second series, about the Hurricane Katrina disaster, which ripped areas of New Orleans, Louisiana apart in 2005.

Cruz’s appearance will be her television debut, according to The anthology series will also reunite Penelope and Edgar, who have signed on star in Weiner-Dog filmmaker Todd Solondz’s new movie Love Child. The film focuses on an 11-year-old boy’s obsession with his mother.

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