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Antonio Banderas to Play Gianni Versace in Upcoming Biopic

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The actor and blossoming fashion designer will play his idol in a new film directed by Bille August.

Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas is set to star in a new film about the life of fashion designer Gianni Versace, who was murdered in front of his Miami house nearly 20 years ago.

According to WWD, the film will be directed by Bille August (of 1998's Les Miserables) and will begin shooting in December.

Banderas reportedly began design classes at Central Saint Martins, a fashion school in London, last year, and released a line in collaboration with Scandinavian brand Selected.

Banderas said that Versace was the inspiration for the gold embellishments the actor-slash-designer included on a jacket in his collection.

However, the director said that the Versace house "has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming movie about Versace." So much like the noted Lifetime biopic on Gianni's sister, Donatella, the movie "should only be seen as a work of fiction," August added.

The Gianni Versace biopic will begin production in Milan, then move to Versace's birthplace of Reggio Calabria, and wrap up in Miami, where the designer lived when he was shot by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, on July 15, 1997.

This isn't the first time August has directed Banderas: The pair worked together in The Home of the Spirits.

August's movie Pelle the Conquerer won an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 1987.

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