August 15, 2013 1:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Gina Gershon, Raquel Welch, Enrico Colantoni to Star in Lifetime's Donatella Versace Movie (Exclusive)
Lifetime is doubling down on Donatella Versace, setting an original scripted movie and airing a documentary on late fashion icon Gianni Versace in October.
House of Versace will star Gina Gershon (Bound, Killer Joe) as Donatella Versace as she carries on her brother's legacy following his 1997 slaying. Enrico Colantoni (Veronica Mars) will play Gianni Versace, Raquel Welch is set as their Aunt Lucia and Colm Feore (Thor) will play their brother, Santo.
The original movie is based on Wall Street Journal reporter Deborah Ball's book House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival and centers on Donatella, who after her brother's slaying is thrust into the spotlight as head designer of his fashion empire. At first ridiculed by critics worldwide, Donatella falls victim to drug addiction and nearly bankrupts the company. With the help of her family, including daughter Allegra, Aunt Lucia (Welch) and brother Santo (Feore), she enters rehab to confront her demons and soon comes back stronger than ever to reignite the beloved Versace brand with her own vision and builds one of the most powerful and influential fashion houses ever known.
The telepic is produced and co-financed by MarVista Entertainment with Fernando Szew (Lifetime's Sexting in Suburbia), Ronald Gilbert (Every Thing Will Be Fine) and Robyn Snyder (16 Wishes) on board as executive producers. Ric Nish (Nicky Deuce) will produce the film, which is being directed by Sara Sugarman (Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen) from a script written by Rama Stagner (American Dreams).
The movie will premiere Saturday, Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. and be followed at 10 p.m. by the documentary Versace: Beyond the Headlines. The hourlong doc offers a look at Gianni Versace's start in the fashion business and his rise to oversee a multimillion-dollar empire that continues to thrive even after his death. The special will include interviews with those who knew him, as well as designers and a police detective and criminologist who offer their take on his 1997 slaying. The doc is produced by CBS EYE Productions.
For Lifetime, the pic comes as the network continues to expand its original movie slate with projects based on the lives of Jodi Arias and Anna Nicole Smith, among others.
Gershon (Showgirls) is repped by TalentWorks, George Heller at Apostle and Weissman Wolff; Golden Globe winner Welch (The Three Musketeers) is with Innovative; Colantoni (Just Shoot Me) is with Innovative and Hall Webber; and Feore (Revolution, 24) is with Coronel Group.