Donatella Versace


Following a Deadline report that a new 10-episode “American Crime Story” will be dedicated to Gianni Versace’s murder in Miami in 1997, the Milan-based company on Wednesday pointed out  that the installment is fictional.  Asked to comment on the news, the fashion house said it had “neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming series about Versace.  The series should only be seen as a work of fiction.”

“Versace/Cunanan: American Crime Story,” from Fox 21, will be based on the book “Vulgar Favors” by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth, according to Deadline. It will focus on the assassination of the designer by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who shot himself eight days later on a Miami houseboat. The series comes on the heels of the Emmy-winning “People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

Filming is expected to start in Los Angeles and Miami next spring. The series is to be directed by Ryan Murphy, who also directed the opening episode of “People v. O.J. Simpson,” but the actors who will play the title roles, including that of Versace’s sister Donatella, have not been selected yet, according to the report.

This is not the first time the Versace siblings have been an unwilling source of inspiration.  In 2013, Lifetime broadcast its original movie “House of Versace.” On that occasion,  the company said that it “neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV movie about Mrs. Versace.” The firm also took issue with the book that triggered that film, Deborah Ball‘s 2010 “House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder and Survival.”

“Since Versace did not authorize the book on which it is based, the movie should only be seen as a work of fiction,” the fashion house said at the time. The book centers on the struggles and the challenges faced by the designer after the murder of her brother. Gina Gershon played Donatella Versace in the movie.

More recently, as reported in July, Antonio Banderas has been tapped to play Gianni Versace in an upcoming movie directed by Bille August on the late designer. Filming is expected to start in December in Milan and then move to Reggio Calabria, the southern town where Versace was born, and Miami.  Details about the script were not available, but the Italian fashion group said at the time that, in this case, too, it had “neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming movie about Versace. The movie should only be seen as a work of fiction.”

As reported, in May Banderas, who has also been studying fashion design at Central Saint Martins in London, presented his first collection in collaboration with Selected, a Scandinavian high-street label. He admitted at the time that he had been inspired by Versace for gold metal embellishments into his biker jacket.

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