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Bille August Set to Direct ‘Versace’ Biopic With Antonio Banderas

Variety logo Variety 12/10/2016 Elsa Keslassy
© Provided by Variety

While in Marrakech to sit on the Bela Tarr-presided competition jury, Danish helmer Bille August confirmed he will next direct the English-language biopic “Versace” and said the movie is now expected to start shooting in March with Antonio Banderas attached to play the late fashion designer Gianni Versace.

The movie will mark August’s follow up to “55 Steps,” a drama starring Helena Bonham Carter playing Eleanor Riese, a hospital mental patient who championed a class action suit that sought to allow hospitalized mental patients to refuse or have a say in their medication.

“Versace” is being lead-produced by Italy’s Oberon Prods, and co-produced by Jesper Morthorst at Svensk Filmindustri. Morthorst’s credits include the Netflix original drama “Rita.”

Revealing some plot details, August said “Versace” will be a family saga chronicling the designer’s rise to fame in the late 1970s, when he launched the brand, and depict his relationship with his sister Donatella. The director revealed he has been in touch with the Versace family to discuss the film.

August said the cast will include high-profile actors who will be announced during a press conference early next year.

On top of starring in the film, Banderas is helping finance the film, possibly as a co-producer. The actor runs his own production vehicle, Green Moon Producciones which is based in Spain.

“I’ve always love Antonio Banderas as an actor and as a man; he’s very passionate about this project,” said August, who previously directed Banderas in “The House of the Spirits” in 1993.

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