There’s a whole season about Hurricane Katrina standing between the world and American Crime Story: Season 3, which will center around the shocking and senseless murder of Gianni Versace in Miami Beach in 1997. It almost doesn’t feel like it has been 20 years since the founder and head of the Versace clothing line was killed Andrew Cunanan, but 1997 really was that long ago. In Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of the tragic story, there are multiple important lead parts which have to be perfectly casted otherwise the show risks the audience not getting invested in the story itself and instead focusing on what isn’t working with the performances and looks. Main roles that are post important for the show to get right include Gianni (of course), his murderer Cunanan (Glee’s Darren Criss has been announced in the role) and, the current head of the house and Gianni’s sister Donatella.
Donatella is probably the most recognizable of the main players, as she is the one still in the public eye and more well known to younger generations who might not have grown up with Gianni at Fashion Week shows and in magazines. Now, FX has announced that Oscar-winning actress Penelope Cruz herself will be stepping into Donatella’s stylish shoes. Many fan casting lists unsurprisingly had Lady Gaga in the Donatella slot, both for her relationship with Ryan Murphy (she appeared in AHS: Hotel) and her striking resemblance to the fashion maven, but that was not to be. An Academy Award winning actress in her place isn’t a bad option though, and will leave Gaga open to other Murphy-led shows where she can accept a part that isn’t so expected of her.
Production is set to begin next month, but the season won’t air until some time in 2018. So actually seeing Cruz in the role of Donatella will have to wait a while longer — but at least the casting is set and the anticipation can start to build.