Ryan’s Murphied once again. If you thought a story about murder and fashion couldn’t possibly sound more on-brand for the man with the campiest — but, interestingly, at least in the first season of American Crime Story, also nuanced and perspicacious — monopoly over your screens, the upcoming Gianni Versace murder-based season of ACS just added Ricky Martin to its cast, so.
According to a press release from FX, Martin (who formerly appeared on Murphy’s Glee) will be playing Antonio D’Amico, Versace’s partner. D’Amico, an Italian model and designer, met Versace in 1982; the two were together until Versace’s murder in 1997. The casting of other key characters was previously announced, and particularly exciting is Penelope Cruz in the role of Gianni’s sister, and current Versace chief designer, Donatella. Glee‘s Darren Criss will play Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who murdered Versace.
As with the first, O.J. Simpson-centered season of the series, Murphy and co-creators Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson will have to balance their interest in mining the sensationalizing of crime, Murphy’s own storytelling attachment to over-the-top-ness (which has been the best element of otherwise wildly inconsistent shows like AHS), and the simultaneous over-the-topness of the Italian fashion industry, with the fact that they’re decidedly exploring very sensitive material. Speaking of the murder, Murphy speculated at Entertainment Weekly‘s PopFest back in October, 2016:
The tragedy of the Versace murder was that it should not have happened. [Cunanan] should have been caught by then. But he wasn’t caught because he was targeting gay people, and people didn’t care. That’s why Gianni Versace was killed, for the most part.
Cunanan, himself, was gay.
The Versace murder narrative will make up American Crime Story‘s third season; the second, which will air in 2018, is about violent negligence and ineptitude in the government following Hurricane Katrina — it’ll feature Annette Benning as former Louisiana governor Kathleen Blanco and Matthew Broderick as former FEMA head Michael Brown. As quoted in the Hollywood Reporter, Murphy said of that season (and it relates to this one, as well), “I want this show to be a socially conscious, socially aware examination of different types of crime around the world. And in my opinion, Katrina was a fucking crime – a crime against a lot of people who didn’t have a strong voice and we’re going to treat it as a crime. That’s what this show is all about.”
Season 3 will be based on Maureen Orth’s Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. For a sample of Oath’s writing on the case, you can read her Vanity Fair article from 1997.