We did not see this casting choice coming.
FX announced Monday that Penelope Cruz will play Donatella Versace in Ryan Murphy's upcoming Versace: American Crime Story.
The news might come as a surprise to Ryan Murphy fans who'd hoped to see Lady Gaga in the iconic role. Many people speculated that Gaga might play Versace, since she's appeared in several seasons of Murphy's American Horror Story. Murphy himself put the rumors to rest in January, but we didn't know who would be taking the role on.
An FX press release provided to Refinery29 notes that Cruz "has proven herself to be one of the most versatile actresses by playing a variety of compelling characters." The network also notes that Cruz is "the first actress from Spain to be nominated for and win for an Academy Award." She took home the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2009, for her role in Vicky Cristina Barcelona.
The Versace-centric American Crime Story season will explore the death of designer Gianni Versace, who was murdered in front of his Miami home in 1997. Cruz will play the late Versace's sister Donatella. (Donatella Versace herself is still alive and well; she currently serves as vice-president and artistic director of the Versace Group.)
Gianni, meanwhile, will be played by Edgar Ramirez in the FX series. Glee star Darren Criss will play his murderer, serial killer Andrew Cunanan.
Production for Versace: American Crime Story will start next month, according to the FX press release. The anthology will air in 2018. American Crime Story's Hurricane Katrina-themed season is expected to air next year as well, Entertainment Weekly notes.
We're still a little bummed we won't see Gaga playing one of the Versace family members. But Cruz is a great choice too, and we can't wait to see her in the role.