American Crime Story is switching up its schedule: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which was originally slated to be the third installment of the series, will now premiere in early 2018, bumping Katrina back to a yet-to-be-determined date. Both seasons follow last year's The People v. O.J. Simpson, an early breakout widely lauded for its evocative storytelling, affecting performances, and high caliber cast. It went on to rack up a multitude of awards — including nine Emmys and a pair of Golden Globes — and creator Ryan Murphy quickly got to work on its next chapters.
Murphy first announced Katrina, a 10-episode project focused on the deadly storm that devastated New Orleans in August 2005, and then followed with Versace, an effort tied to the infamous 1997 murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Katrina was originally scheduled to film this spring and debut later this year, with Versace filming almost concurrently and airing roughly six months later. But at TCA in January, FX President John Landgraf announced that Katrina's premiere had been pushed to 2018, citing both the scripts and production hold-ups; New Orleans, where Katrina is set, has to contend with hurricanes, and productions can only get insurance at certain times of the year.
Apparently, those behind-the-scenes snags haven't abated, according to a release by FX Katrina filming has now been further delayed to early 2018. According to Deadline, it's not yet clear if the actors previously attached to the project will be able to continue with the new timetable, but talks with them are underway. Annette Bening, Dennis Quaid, and Matthew Broderick were among those already locked into the cast.
Versace, meanwhile, has been moving full steam ahead. Tom Rob Smith's first script was so well-received that the American Crime Story team made the decision to accelerate production, blazed through casting, and began filming in April in Miami and Los Angeles. Darren Criss is set to star as Cunanan; Édgar Ramírez as Versace; Penelope Cruz as Gianni's sister, Donatella; Ricky Martin as his longtime partner, Antonio D'Amico; and Max Greenfield as his older brother, Santo.
It's clear that Versace had more momentum, and the change-up gives Murphy and co. more time to refine Katrina's story, rather than rushing something to screen. Barring any cast members having to drop out of Katrina, pushing up Versace seems like the wisest move.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is expected to premiere on FX in early 2018, followed by Katrina: American Crime Story later that year. Another future season, which will explore the Monica Lewinsky scandal, is undated.