CULTURE

The First Trailer for American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace Does Not Disappoint

Penélope Cruz as Donatella and Darren Criss as her brother’s murderer pile on the drama.


Courtesy of FX

Even before news came out that Donatella Versace herself had made her concerns clear to producer Ryan Murphy, the creator of both American Crime Story and American Horror Story, in adapting the death of her brother, Gianna Versace, into one of his signature glossily twisted TV series (see: The People v. O.J. Simpson), we already knew American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace would be a real drama. Murphy, for one, specializes in stories that often portray fashion, murder, and homosexuality with disturbingly imaginative intrigue, and the real-life story of Gianni’s 1997 murder in itself is still shrouded in mystery.

Murphy apparently took Versace’s concerns into account, but the first full-length trailer for the show, which premieres on FX on January 17, does not dial back on the campy drama suggested in the first eerily short teaser of the show that came out earlier this fall, which essentially consists of doves and gunshots flying out from Gianni’s Miami villa, now known as Casa Casuarina. The other 20-second teaser gave us a better look at a platinum blonde Penélope Cruz as Donatella, and now, in the new full-length trailer, we finally get to hear Cruz, who’s previously described the process of filming the show as “very moving, sometimes disturbing,” speak. “He was a creator, he was a genius,” she says as Donatella. “I will not allow that man, that nobody, to kill my brother twice.”

“That man” would be Andrew Cunanan, a 27-year-old, boyishly handsome serial killer, played by Darren Criss, who killed four other people that year before—spoiler alert—adding Versace and, eight days later, himself to that hit list. He kicks off the trailer fleeing from Gianni’s palm tree-lined street with a gun in one hand and a backpack strap in the other, and drives the momentum throughout the trailer, in between showing off his thighs in denim cut-offs on the beach while a veiled Donatella carries flowers to her brother’s open casket, wrapping up people’s faces in duct tape.

“You’re not better than me. We’re the same,” Cunanan says in a voice-over while footage flashes of the designer. “The only difference is that you got lucky.”

Ricky Martin can also be spotted in trailer—wearing an all-white ensemble including short shorts, and covered in blood, no less—playing the role of Antonio D’Amico, Gianni’s partner. Martin even recently reassured D’Amico, who came out with his own disapproving comments about the series, that he’ll “make sure people fall in love with your relationship with Gianni.”

The show undeniably delves into sticky, still sensitive territory, but Murphy has said he’s looking to focus on much more than the glamour and gossip of the Versaces by delving into how the murder was affected by the narrative surrounding sexuality and homophobia at the time. “The more I had read about it, the more I was startled by the fact that Cunanan really was only allowed to get away with it because of homophobia,” he told Entertainment Weekly from the outset of pursuing the story, which he promised would be “a bracing cold slap against the policies” of the Trump administration. “There was this great apathy about it,” Murphy continued about Gianni’s murder, “and I think part of that was because it seemed like gay people were disposable in our culture.”

The Best, Most Supermodel-Filled Images from the Height of Gianni Versace’s Reign

Linda Evangelista, Versace fashion show, Rock ‘n’ Rule Benefit after party, Park Avenue Armory, New York, New York, 1992.

Rose Hartman

Beverly Peele at the 1994 F/W Versace fashion show.

Getty Images

Acting MTV new anchor, Cindy Crawford, interviews Claudia Schiffer during the 1991 Versace fashion show in Los Angeles.

George Rose

Kate Moss struts down the runway during the 1995 S/S Versace fashion show.

Images Press

Cindy Crawford attends Versace’s “Rock ‘N Rule” Fashion Show Gala to Benefit amfAR in 1992 in New York City.

Ron Galella, Ltd.

Linda Evangelista at the Gianni Versace Spring 1993 show circa 1992 in Milan, Italy.

Images Press

Naomi Campbell wears Versace, in the 1991 Los Angeles, California, Versace fashion show.

George Rose

Cindy Crawford backstage at the 1993 s/s Versace fashion show.

Rose Hartman

(Original Caption) Kate Moss on the catwalk. (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Sygma via Getty Images)

Stephane Cardinale – Corbis

Naomi Campbell walks during the Versace Fall 1992 RTW runway show.

Guy Marineau

Christy Turlington walks during the Versace Fall 1992 RTW runway show.

Guy Marineau

Helena Christensen walks the runway at the Versace Haute Couture S/S 1992-1993 fashion show in January, 1992 in Paris, France.

Victor VIRGILE

PARIS – (FILE) Model Carla Bruni walks the catwalk at Versace High Fashion show (circa 1996) in Paris, France. According to reports, December 18, 2007 French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked the Italian model turned pop singer to marry him. (Photo by Michel Dufour/WireImage)

Michel Dufour

Supermodel Naomi Campbell Modeling Versace Jacket during the 1992 F/W Versace show.

Michel Arnaud

Cindy Crawford attends Versace’s “Rock ‘N Rule” Fashion Show Gala to Benefit amfAR on September 14, 1992 at Park Avenue Armory in New York City.

Ron Galella

Amber Valletta walks during the 1995 Versace haute couture show in Paris.

Thierry Orban

Kate Moss models Gianni Versace’s spring collection again in 1995.

Mitchell Gerber

Shalom Harlow walks the runway at the Versace Haute Couture S/S 1992-1993 fashion show during the Paris Fashion Week in January, 1992 in Paris, France.

Victor VIRGILE

Gianni Versace, always innovating, blends transparent plastic and shimmering fabric for a futurist evening gown in his f/w 1995-1996 show.

GERARD JULIEN

Naomi Campbell during the 1991f/w Versace fashion show in Los Angeles.

Getty Images

A model presents an eclectic striped bodysuit and spencer jacket with a coordinated green-striped fantasy military cap during the S/S 1993 Versace fashion show.

PIERRE GUILLAUD

Kate Moss wears Gianni Versace’s zippered bridal gown during the f/w 1995-1996 Versace fashion show.

GERARD JULIEN

Amber Valletta walking down the Runway at the 2000 Spring Fashion Week: Versace Fashion Show in New York City.

Ron Galella, Ltd.

Carla Bruni walks the catwalk at the Versace High Fashion show in Paris, France (1993)

Michel Dufour

Yet again: Naomi Campbell walks the runway at the Versace Haute Couture 1992-1993 fashion show in Paris.

Victor VIRGILE

Nadja Auermann, Carla Bruni, Amber Valletta, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Shalom Harlow and Top Models wearing ” Fashion Aid Clothing ” Tee Shirts Pose at the Versace High Fashion Show at the Ritz Hotel on January 1,1994 in Paris.

Foc Kan

Gianni Versace, takes a bow at a 1991 Los Angeles, California, fashion show.

George Rose
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Related: Donatella Versace Had Concerns About American Crime Story

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