American Crime Story season 1 explored the 1995 O.J. Simpson trial, spinning a complex and entertaining multi-threaded tale out of those infamous and society-rocking events (while inviting viewers to take a whole new look at the Kardashians). In Season 2, the Ryan Murphy-produced FX anthology series will set its sights on another massive and tragic recent event charged with all kinds of race-related overtones, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. For Season 3, American Crime Story will dig into the bizarre circumstances surrounding the murder of famed designer Gianni Versace, at the hands of serial killer Andrew Cunanan.
Besides smart writing and solid direction, American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson boasted an amazing cast including Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, Sterling K. Brown as Chris Darden, Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochrane and (somewhat controversially) John Travolta as Robert Shapiro. Katrina is following the lead of Season 1 by putting together its own big-name ensemble, snagging Matthew Broderick and Annette Bening to star opposite returning favorites Paulson, Vance and Gooding.
The cast is now beginning to also come together for Versace: American Crime Story, with a huge new addition just announced. Darren Criss and Edgar Ramirez were already in place as, respectively, killer Andrew Cunanan and his victim Gianni Versace. Now you can add Oscar-winner Penelope Cruz to the ever-growing cast list in the role of Donatella Versace, the fashion designer sister of the slain Gianni.
Previously it was rumored that Lady Gaga would be joining the cast of Versace in the role of Donatella, but that report was quickly shot down by executive producer Ryan Murphy. In addition to her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Woody Allen’s Vicky Christina Barcelona, Cruz also was nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for her role in Pedro Almodovar’s Volver. She scored an additional Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination for her work in the musical Nine.
Versace: American Crime Story is based on Maureen Orth’s non-fiction book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. Plans for the anthology series go beyond Season 3, with Season 4 tackling former president Bill Clinton’s sex scandal. The casting for the Bill Clinton season should be fascinating, indeed.
Versace: American Crime Story will go before cameras beginning in April and will hit FX in 2018. Katrina: American Crime Story is also scheduled to air in 2018. There will certainly be a lot of American crime – and some truly big-time actors – on FX in 2018.