Everyone has an image in their head of what a Lifetime Original Movie is. We think of them as starring washed up television actors who are giving terrible performances in overly schmaltzy stories centered on serious topics like domestic abuse and human trafficking. I mean, don’t we? Well, it looks like that standard operating procedure is changing over at the Lifetime Network, because THR has just released casting info for their upcoming biopic of fashion mogul Donatella Versace, and it’s actually loaded with great people.
The movie is going to be called House of Versace, and it’s set to star Gina Gershon as the blonde-haired, tan-skinned head of the Versace Group, which she took over after her icon of a brother, Gianni Versace, was murdered in 1997. Gershon, in addition to being a lady who will likely look appropriately ridiculous in a bleach blonde wig, is still a damn strong actress who has given a great performance just as recently as last year’s Killer Joe, so this has to be seen as a real coup for the Lifetime Network—and she’s not even where the talent in this cast ends.
In addition to Gershon playing Donatella, House of Versace is also set to star Veronica Mars standout Enrico Colantoni as her brother, Gianni, screen legend Raquel Welch as her aunt, Lucia, and Thor’s Colm Feore as her other brother, Santo. The film, which is said to be based on Deborah Ball’s Versace biography, “House of Versace: The Untold Story of Genius, Murder, and Survival,” is scheduled to premiere on Lifetime on Saturday, October 5. It will play at 8PM, and then it will be followed by a documentary that looks at Gianni’s building of the Versace Group called Versace: Beyond the Headlines at 10PM.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to get into watching Lifetime movies again, then this could be your opportunity. Just tell the people you live with you’re watching the Versace movie for Colantoni, and then slyly leave the channel on so you can catch up with Kirstie Alley in Baby Sellers a little bit later. It’s a genius plan. Hide your shame.