Fans of everything Ryan Murphy were treated to a special treat during the premiere of the latest American Horror Story. The first teaser for the second installment of the hit American Crime Story dropped during the cultish excitement and does a great job in making us want more.
The second season of the anthology series is based on Maureen Orth's Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History and focuses on the murder of iconic fashion designer Gianni Versace (portrayed by Edgar Ramirez) by serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss).
The teaser showcases the gorgeous front portion of Versace's former Miami home, Casa Casuarina. As the teaser progresses, you can hear the sound of white doves as they surround the opulent steps and front gate. However, this brought to a halt when two gunshots suddenly ring out and the foreground turns blood red.
Versace was shot and killed by Cunanan in July 1997, during a killing spree wherein he murdered at least five people (including Versace and Chicago tycoon Lee Miglin) over a three-month period. Rounding out the cast alongside Ramirez and Criss are Ricky Martin as Versace's longtime partner Antonio D’Amico and Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace.
While speaking with Entertainment Weekly during the initial shooting of the series back in May, Murphy referred to the filming of the murder as "really awful" due to the intensity involved with depicting such a graphic sequence:
"It was actually one of the worst things I’ve ever shot. It was the exact position of the body. Edgar had to lay on those coral steps for two days. It was very intense. It was very intense for Darren and Edgar. It was the most intense I think for Ricky. The crew was in tears. We would constantly have to stop and wait for everybody to get it back together. In shooting the show, I think we’ve all come to really love Versace.”
Can Versace Stand Up To OJ?
The highly anticipated new season comes after the major success of Season 1's The People v. OJ Simpson, which received immense critical acclaim for virtually every aspect of the series. It became somewhat of a cultural phenomenon last year, eerily echoing a similar fascination felt during the actual Simpson trial in the '90s.
While Versace's murder may not be as well known with general audiences as the OJ trial, it certainly holds its own respective notoriety because of its morbid nature. The Miami Herald reports that nearly every day "tourists pose outside the Versace mansion, occasionally sprawled out on the steps in morbid reenactment."
Former homicide prosecutor Michael Band worked on the murder case and gave his thoughts during a July interview on why the grisly murder may resonate with people 20 years later.
“It epitomizes Miami Beach, for many people. It was the confluence of celebrity, a spree killer of dubious origin, some failings by the police. It has something for everyone... Versace lives on — his brand did very well. People recognize the name.”
The People v. OJ Simpson aired around the time of the 20th anniversary of the trial and Versace is following suit, airing 21 years after his untimely death. The triumph of The People may have been an example of lightning in a bottle and if Versace experiences half the success of that season, #FX will be jumping for joy.
The season has a tough road ahead, as it cannot solely rely on the combined star power of its cast. It must somehow possess the same intrigue The People had, despite the fact that (almost) everyone knew exactly where it was headed. While the incredible talents featured in The People including Sarah Paulson's stellar Marcia Clark portrayal, Courtney B. Vance's Johnnie Cochran and Sterling K. Brown as Chris Darden were enough to casually watch the series, it was the lived-in environment and sharp writing that made it a must-watch every week.
Versace may not be the most historically accurate account, but it looks incredibly intense and will certainly be a treat to watch this talented group of actors tackle such fascinating subject matter.
The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres on FX in 2018.
What are your thoughts on the first teaser? Let me know in the comments below!