10:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Penelope Cruz to Star in 'Versace: American Crime Story'
Penelope Cruz is joining the cadre of stars heading to television.
The Oscar winner is set to topline FX's Ryan Murphy anthology Versace: American Crime Story, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
Versace — which will come after the franchise's second season, Katrina — will explore the July 1997 assassination of legendary designer Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramirez). His killer, Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), committed suicide eight days later as Miami Dade police were on the verge of capturing the serial killer behind five slayings. The 10-episode third season of ACS will debut in 2018, following quickly on Katrina's heels.
Cruz will play Donatella Versace, the sister of the slain fashion designer, who took over the company following his death.
Versace, from Fox 21 and FX Productions, will be based on the book Vulgar Favors by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth, with Tom Rob Smith (London Spy) set to write the first two and multiple subsequent episodes.
Versace marks Cruz's first TV series regular role. Her credits include her 2009 Academy Award-winning supporting role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona as well as Oscar-nominated performances in Nine and Volver. Other big-screen roles include Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Blow and Vanilla Sky. She is repped by CAA, Untitled Entertainment and Katrina Bayonas.
The Spanish actress takes the role that was briefly rumored to be going to American Horror Story grad Lady Gaga. (Showrunner Murphy shot down those reports in January).
Cruz becomes the latest film performer to move to television, joining stars like Annette Bening, who is set to star in the Katrina-themed season two of the FX anthology.
Meanwhile, Murphy is looking to cast a newcomer as Monica Lewinsky in the potential fourth season of American Crime Story.