American Crime Story Season 3 Will Focus on Gianni Versace's Murder

Versace's former home on Ocean Drive.
Versace's former home on Ocean Drive.
Photo by chensiyuan | Wikimedia Commons CC2.0

Ryan Murphy, the screenwriter, director, and producer of Nip/TuckGlee, and American Horror Story, has a fetish for camp, crime, and color. So it's no wonder that American Crime Story, the Murphy-led TV series that recounted the O.J. Simpson murder investigation and trial earlier this year, has found a Miami story to tell.

Deadline reports that the third season of Murphy's FX series will focus on Andrew Cunanan, the serial killer who fatally shot fashion designer Gianni Versace on the steps of his Ocean Drive mansion in 1997. The series, subtitled Versace/Cunanan, will reportedly be based on the 2010 book Vulgar Favors, written by Vanity Fair investigative reporter Maureen Orth. 

Versace's death was the final act in a five-person murder spree that spanned three months. Cunanan's killings in Minnesota, Chicago, and New Jersey earned him a spot on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list. Even so, he was able to hide out in Miami Beach for two months after his fourth killing before shooting Versace in broad daylight and eventually turning the gun on himself.

Orth had been investigating Cunanan for months before he murdered Versace and was the first to report that Cunanan had met Versace prior to killing him. Afterward, she continued looking into the case, examining the police investigation and interviewing those who knew the killer. Vulgar Favors, according to its description, "tells the complete story of a twisted killer; his unwitting victims; the moneyed, hedonistic worlds in which they lived and died; the failure of the nation's law enforcement agencies to apprehend the killer; and the mysteries that remain unsolved — if not suppressed — to this day."

There's no news yet about casting. Deadline says only that an "A-list actress" is in talks to play Donatella Versace, Gianni's sister.

Murphy's handling of the O.J. Simpson trial earned a positive response from critics. It combined a sturdy foundation of facts with just enough camp (ahem, John Travolta) to keep viewers riveted. His deep dive into Versace's murder could earn the same acclaim if he can keep his more fantastical tendencies in check. And, hey, it wouldn't hurt if they filmed the series onsite in South Beach. (New Times has reached out to FX for more information about the show.)

The only bad news is it'll be a while until the Versace story hits your TV screen. Though filming is set to begin in early 2017, American Crime Story's second season will center on Hurricane Katrina. Season 3 likely won't air until 2018.

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