Those who turn on The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story may assume it will be similar to Ryan Murphy’s first installment of ACS: The People vs. OJ. However, it couldn’t be a further departure. FX’s new season will retell an extremely graphic case that ended with the murder of fashion designer Gianni Versace, but also took the lives of four others.
While The People vs. OJ Simpson followed the police in hunting down the former NFL player, the hunt to find Andrew Cunanan (played by Darren Criss) will not be the focus on this. Instead, viewers will get the details of each murder and how they happened, the relationship between Cunanan and Versace and the relationships each man had with others close to him.
Murphy’s new show is based on Maureen Orth’s book, Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. The show will follow the book closely but will be told in reverse chronological order. It begins with Cunanan shooting Versace on the front steps of his Miami Beach home on July 15, 1997. From there, the show works its way backward.
Cunanan’s first victim was close friend and ex-Navy lieutenant Jeffrey Trail (played by Finn Wittrock). He killed Trail on April 27, 1997, and put the body in a closet at his ex-lover, David Madson’s house. Madson (played by Cody Fern) was his next victim — his body was found on May 3, 1997. The next day, he used a screwdriver to stab 72-year-old Lee Miglin 20 times. (Miglin is played by Mike Farrell.) After the first four murders, Cunanan “hid in plain sight” in Miami Beach for two months before killing Versace.
Eight days after killing Versace, Cunanan killed himself with the same gun.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story airs on FX Wednesday, January 17, at 10 p.m. ET.