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A natural brunette is about to take on the role of an iconic blonde — and the Internet is abuzz with the news of the casting.

After rumors that Lady Gaga would be playing the role, today it was revealed that Spanish actress Penélope Cruz is heading to TV as a series regular, playing Donatella Versace, on the next season of FX’s “Versace: American Crime Story.” The actress will star in the show’s third season as the Italian fashion designer. The upcoming season will be based on the book “Vulgar Favors” by Maureen Orth, which explores the 1997 murder of Gianni Versace in Miami Beach. Venezuelan actor Édgar Ramírez has signed on to portray Gianni and Darren Criss will play serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who committed suicide the week after murdering Versace.

Donatella Versace and Eric Wilson at the Times Center.

Donatella Versace and Eric Wilson at the Times Center during the designer’s book tour last year.  Robert Altman/WWD

More: See Photos of Donatella Versace’s Style Evolution

The limited series show, created by Ryan Murphy, centers each season around a famous true crime — the first season was the award-winning “The People v. O. J. Simpson” in 2016; the second season, currently in development, focuses on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Production for the third, “Versace,” is slated to begin next month with an expected air date in 2018.

Cruz isn’t the first big name to sign on to the anthology show; the first season starred John Travolta, Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Penelope Cruz 2017 BAFTA film awards

Penélope Cruz in Atelier Versace at the BAFTAs in London earlier this year.  James Gourley/REX/Shutterstock


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