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American Crime Story

American Crime Story’s Donatella Versace is Penélope Cruz

The Oscar-winning actress is set to replace Lady Gaga in the television series examining the murder of designer Gianni Versace

Back in November, it was announced that Lady Gaga would play her long time friend Donatella Versace in Versace, the third instalment of Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story. Versace will look at the murder of designer Gianni Versace on his own doorstep by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Its production was fast-tracked, along with Katrina, which will be about Hurricane Katrina, following the success of the show’s first instalment, The People v. O.J. Simpson.

Lady Gaga dropping out is a pretty major disappointment considering not only how perfect she would be for the role, but how great she and Murphy appear to work together, after her performance as the seductive Countess in 2015’s American Horror Story: Hotel. However, they’ve found a replacement already, in none other than Penélope Cruz. Cruz might seem like a less immediately obvious choice than Gaga, and Versace will be the Oscar-winning actress’s first TV role, but she could come to surprise us. She will star opposite Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace and Darren Criss as Cunanan. Versace and Katrina will both begin production next month.

Gaga seemed the perfect choice to portray Donatella Versace, however, she’s apparently had to drop out because of her busy schedule – the Joanne singer has her upcoming world tour to embark on. Ryan Murphy, speaking at the Television Critics Association’s press tour last Thursday, said, “she’s very busy this next year—she’s doing Super Bowl and then she’s doing A Star is Born and I believe that she’s going on tour. And when you’re going to do a show like Versace, it’s a five-month commitment, it’s a very big show, we’re shooting it all over the world. So I just don’t think with her schedule, I knew that it would never had worked. But I would love to work with her on something in the future.”