Antonio Banderas To Play Fashion Designer Gianni Versace In Biopic

Antonio Banderas will be playing the role of the late Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace in an upcoming biopic directed by Bille August.

Donatella Versace, the sister of Gianni, is now the chief designer of the Versace Group. According to the company, the upcoming biopic about Gianni Versace is unauthorized and “should only be seen as a work of fiction,” and they have not given their authorization. Nor are they involved in the process of creating the film, as reported by Yahoo Style.

Gianni Versace was shot dead on the steps of his home in Miami Beach in 1997. Versace was 50 years old. Just days before his death, Versace received praise from fashion critics for his latest collection that debuted in Paris. According to reports, Versace was returning home to his house after purchasing a newspaper from a nearby cafe when a stranger approached and shot him at point-blank range.

Italian designer Gianni Versace gestures while being applauded by models in Paris Saturday Jan 18, 1997 at the end of his 1997 Spring-Summer Haute-Couture collections.(AP Photo/Laurent Rebours)

Gianni Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, reportedly murdered at least four other people before killing Versace. Days after Gianni Versace’s death, Cunanan was found in a houseboat with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the mouth. He was 27 years old at the time of his death. The motive behind Versace’s murder still remains a mystery to this day.

Friends mourned the loss of Versace, and among those in attendance at his memorial were Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani, Sting, Princess Diana, Elton John, Tai Missoni, and Carla Fendi.

FILE--Suspected serial killer Andrew Cunanan is shown in his 1987 high school yearbook photo from The Bishop's School in San Diego, Calif. The FBI on Tuesday named Cunanan as a suspect in the slaying of Gianni Versace, who was shot to death outside his Miami Beach, Fla., mansion. Cunanan had previously been charged in one killing and named as the prime suspect in three others (AP Photo/File)

Gianni Versace left a fashion empire when he died, and it is now being run by his brother Santo Versace, Jonathan Akeroyd, and sister Donatella Versace.

There are no details released regarding the storyline of the upcoming Gianni Versace biopic, but according to director Bille August, as reported by Women’s Wear Daily, filming will begin in December in Milan, then move on to Reggio Calabria where Versace was born, and finally to Miami where he died.

Antonio Banderas playing the role of Gianni Versace is fitting, as he himself announced last year that he is studying fashion at Central Saint Martins school in London. Banderas took a short course on bespoke tailoring. The actor even posted a few pictures on his Instagram account.

As reported by Vogue, Antonio Banderas enrolled at Central Saint Martins to pursue his other interests.

“What am I doing here? Knowledge. I’m here to gain knowledge, basically. I got to a point where I’ve done 92 movies – I am not going to stop – I’m going to continue doing movies and producing, and I want to direct more – but there were other things in my life that I was interested in.”

In May, Antonio Banderas debuted his first menswear collection in London in collaboration with a Scandinavian label called Selected. Banderas’ first collection has 30 pieces that include coats, blazers, motorcycle jackets, shirts, vests, cardigans, and jeans, and the price range is from $26 to more than $400. The collection will be available for purchase this August. In an interview, as reported by Women’s Wear Daily, Antonio Banderas explained his inspiration for the collection.

“Probably one of the happiest times of my life was the Eighties, and I remember Versace putting gold with leather. I had this in mind, so we wanted to add the gold color, it’s those little details. I love motorcycles. I ride motorcycles, so we wanted to have a jacke that I can use and people with bikes can use for that purpose.”

[Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Image]