UPDATE: Penelope Cruz, and not Lady Gaga, will star as Donatella Versace in the upcoming season of American Crime Story, with Edgar Ramirez portraying Gianni Versace and Glee alum Darren Cross in the role of Andrew Cunanan, The Guardian reports.
Lady Gaga will portray fashion designer Donatella Versace in the upcoming third season of the anthology series American Crime Story, which revolves around the murder of Donatella's brother Gianni Versace in 1997.
Versace/Cunanan: American Crime Story reunites Gaga with executive producer Ryan Murphy, who cast the singer in American Horror Story: Hotel, a role which earned Gaga a Golden Globe award for Best Actress in a Limited Series; Gaga also currently appears in American Horror Story: Roanoke.
The third season of American Crime Story is expected to go into production in early 2017, around the same time the anthology series' second season – focusing on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – begins filming. The first season of American Crime Story – The People Vs. O.J. Simpson – won nine Primetime Emmys, including Outstanding Limited Series.
Gianni Versace was shot and killed outside his Miami Beach mansion in July 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who committed suicide eight days later with the same gun. It's still unclear why Cunanan, who murdered at least five people over the span of a three-month-long killing spree, targeted Versace.
Gaga and Donatella Versace, who took over as head of design for the fashion empire following her brother's death, are close friends, with Gaga recording a "love letter" track titled "Donatella" for her 2013 album Artpop. Gaga also starred in Donatella Versace's Spring 2014 ad campaign. Gaga and Versace also walked the red carpet together at the Met Gala in May 2016.
As Us Weekly noted, Murphy hinted at Gaga's casting as Versace in the anthology series at a Los Angeles PopFest panel in late October. When the panel moderator suggested that Gaga would make "the perfect Donatella," Murphy replied, "You think?"