The Assassination of Gianni Versace is one of the most anticipated shows of the new season. The second installment of FX's American Crime Story details the 1997 murder of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez) at the hands of psychopathic social climber Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss).
Similar to The People v. O. J. Simpson, the show dramatizes a real-life crime to examine the more systemic issues behind it, but unlike O.J., the murder of Gianni Versace wasn't a television event. The details of the crime and the investigation into Cunanan's deadly trail of spree killings didn't play out quite as publicly. As such, the show takes some liberties with the truth to fill in the narrative gaps — too many liberties for the Versace estate, which recently announced that the drama was done without its blessing.
"The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace," the family said in a statement Monday (January 8), via The Hollywood Reporter. Instead, executive producer Ryan Murphy primarily based the nine-episode series on Maureen Orth's 1999 book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in US History.
"Since Versace did not authorize the book on which it is partly based nor has it taken part in the writing of the screenplay," the statement read. "this TV series should only be considered as a work of fiction."
Though, the creative team behind The Assassination of Gianni Versace did strive for authenticity. The cast and crew filmed inside Versace's former mansion in South Beach, even recreating the designer's murder on the exact steps outside his front gate.
Back in June, Penelope Cruz said she met with Donatella Versace before accepting the role of Gianni's sister. "I did have one conversation that was between she and I," Cruz told Entertainment Weekly. "I don't want to say the details, but it was a long conversation... That was very important to me. I think she knows that the way I'm playing her, that I truly love her and respect her."
We'll have to wait and see if Cruz's portrayal will put a dent in her long-standing relationship with the fashion house.