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."
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