'American Crime Story' Finds Its Donatella Versace in Penelope Cruz

A sad loss The blonde Italian is seen here with Gianni who built the Versace empire in the 1990s in NYC

Penélope Cruz has been tapped to star as Donatella Versace, the sister of murdered fashion designer Gianni Versace, in Versace: American Crime Story, the third installment in the Emmy-winning anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson. Cruz joins Edgar Ramirez and Darren Criss, who topline the production.

Earlier this year, there were reports that Lady Gaga would portray the fashion icon (given their physical similarity, and that she worked on Murphy's other show American Horror Story, this seemed a logical casting). Though it definitely adds a touch of familiarity to see old faces worked into new characters in these Murphy projects-it'll be amusing to watch Glee's Darren Criss morph into Versace's killer Andrew Cunanan-it also gets sort of exhausted. But this news puts those rumors to rest. Her credits include "Volver", "Broken Embraces", "Nine", "To Rome With Love", "The Counselor" and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona", for which she won the supporting actress Oscar.

Production of Versace: American Crime Story is scheduled to begin in April and the project will air in 2018. Since marrying fellow Oscar-winning Spaniard Javier Bardem in 2010, Cruz has been flying under the radar, appearing previous year in the ill-fated Zoolander 2.

The story is based on the book Vulgar Favors by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth.

It will not air until after series two, which will focus on Hurricane Katrina and is slated to debut in 2018. It ignited the careers of some of its actors, including Sterling K. Brown, and reinforced the positions of accomplished actors like Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr. Tom Rob Smith, who most recently wrote the BBC show London Spy, will write several episodes and serve as a co-producer.

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