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'American Crime Story' casts its Donatella Versace, and it isn't Lady Gaga

Why it matters to you

If you've been anticipating the upcoming third installment of American Crime Story, Versace, this latest casting announcement might excite you.

We already know that the upcoming third installment of the American Crime Story anthology series from Ryan Murphy, Versace, will cover the murder of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. And now we know who will play his sister and current vice president of The Versace Group, Donatella Versace: Penelope Cruz, reports Variety.

Gianni Versace, who will be played by Edgar Ramirez (The Girl on the Train, The Bourne Ultimatum) in the FX series, was killed outside of his Miami Beach home by serial killer Andrew Cunanan. Darren Criss, who has worked with Murphy on several other of his projects, including American Horror Story and Glee, has been cast as Cunanan. It was initially rumored that Lady Gaga, who appeared in the last season of American Horror Story, might be a shoe-in for Donatella. But this news puts those rumors to rest.

More: Clinton-Lewinsky scandal is on the list of topics ‘American Crime Story’ will cover

This will mark Cruz’s first regular television series acting gig. The actress is best know for her lengthy movie career, starring in a string of films across many genres, including Vanilla Sky, Blow, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and, most recently, the comedies The Brothers Grimsby and Zoolander 2. She has a number of firsts to her credit as well, including the first Spanish actress to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the first Spanish actress to receive an Academy Award, which she won in the Best Supporting Actress category in 2009 for her role as painter Maria Elena in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.

Versace, which will be based on Vulgar Favors, a book by Maureen Orth, is set to debut some time in 2018. It will follow the second installment of the series, called Katrina, which will chronicle the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, also set to debut next year. Murphy has also already confirmed the focus of the fourth installment: the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal.

The first American Crime Story series, The People v. O.J. Simpson, was released in February 2016, and was met with rave reviews, receiving tons of accolades, including 10 Emmy wins. It ignited the careers of some of its actors, including Sterling K. Brown, and reinforced the positions of accomplished actors like Sarah Paulson and Cuba Gooding Jr.

Tom Rob Smith will serve as writer for many of the Versace episodes, as well as executive producer alongside Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, and Brad Falchuk.