The first image of Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace in the upcoming season of American Crime Story. Last year, The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story debuted on the FX channel, instantly picking up critical acclaim its slick style of storytelling and brilliant performances from an all-star cast that included Cuba Gooding Jr. in the titular role. Adapting Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson, the miniseries told a version of the infamous O. J. Simpson murder case before raking in a multitude of award nominations, taking nine Primetime Emmys and a pair of Golden Globes.
Though the series won’t be making a return this year, that doesn’t mean creator Ryan Murphy isn’t working on a comeback for the future. In fact, he’s been in production for two seasons of the show side-by-side for a short while now. The second season is subtitled Katrina and will follow the real-life titular hurricane and the aftermath in New Orleans, with Annette Bening leading the cast as Kathleen Blanco and Dennis Quaid as President George W. Bush. The third is called The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, with Edgar Ramirez as the titular designer and Ricky Martin as his long-time partner, Antonio D’Amico.
Another big name confirmed to appear in the Versace season is Penelope Cruz, who’ll be taking on the role of the fashion designer’s sister, Donatella Versace. Today, EW have released a great first look image of Cruz as the fashionista, which you can check out below:
Cruz is quite clearly a pro at bringing Donatella’s exuberant personality and passion for eye-catching clothes to life, staring deeply down the camera in the picture whilst flanked by a pair of near-naked men in what looks like a very expensive setting.
Murphy has been known to allow a campier flair to his series come to the forefront in the past, encouraging his actors and the characters they’re taking on to really express themselves in whatever way seems fit. It's just another layer that means his shows can stand out from the crowd.
Of course, when it comes to a show of this type it can’t all be fun and games. The picture of Cruz may elicit a smile, but when we get to the meat of the story being told – the assassination of Donatella’s brother – we’re likely going to be watching while biting our nails and gripping the corners of our sofa, than joy painted on our faces.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is expected to premiere on FX at some point in 2018, following the series’ second miniseries, Katrina: American Crime Story, also set to debut in 2018.