Lion order! Antonio Banderas is set to play Gianni Versace in an upcoming movie about the famed late designer. The Finding Altamira star, 55, will begin filming in December in one of the world’s most fashionable cities, Milan, according to a WWD report. Banderas will also shoot in Reggio Calabria, Italy, where Versace was born in 1945, and Miami, where he was murdered in 1997.
The fashion house “has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming movie about Versace. The movie should only be seen as a work of fiction,” a spokesperson told WWD of the Billie August–directed film.
Banderas may have already dropped a hint that went over our heads. He enrolled in Central Saint Martins, a London fashion school that counts Alexander McQueen and John Galliano as alumni, last August to study menswear design. The father of Stella with ex-wife Melanie Griffith made the announcement in an Instagram post, posing among a group of mannequins. “The 2nd week of studies at Central St Martin begins. Intense, exciting, serious and fun all at the same time,” he captioned. The Antonio Banderas Design by Selected Homme designer also mentioned that Versace influenced one of his designs.
“Probably one of the happiest times of my life was the Eighties, and I remember Versace putting gold with leather,” he told WWD. “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 jacket that I can use and people with bikes can use for that purpose.”
Banderas, who debuted a 30-piece collection of jeans, outerwear and more last August, explained his reason behind going back to school. “What am I doing here…? Knowledge. I’m here to gain knowledge, basically,” he told Central St Martin’s magazine, 1 Granary. “I also 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.”
He referenced his divorce with Griffith as well. “Last year my personal life took a turn, and I decided to take some steps ahead. As something that had been cooking in my brain for a while, I decided to put a company together called Antonio Banderas Designs, which encompasses the perfumes that have been there for 19 years, but I also jumped into the world of glasses,” he continued. “In the beginning they proposed I do a perfume collection but I suggested something different. I said: ‘OK, let’s take a risk. I am not going to do a commercial, take the money and go home. I would like to create my own little company, and I’ll work with you. I will not only be an image and a name – I will work hard for you.’ At the beginning they were surprised but they finally accepted it. We started working and after 19 years we now sell in 93 countries.”