There seems to be a surge in interest in…Italian fashion industry murders at the moment. Only a couple of weeks after it was hinted that Lady Gaga was likely to play Donatella Versace in the American Crime Story season about the murder of Gianni Versace, now the Guardian reports that In the Mood for Love/Happy Together/The Grandmaster director Wong Kar-wai is working on a film about the murder of Maurizio Gucci, grandson of Guccio Gucci and, for a while before his death, head of the fashion company.
Gucci’s wife, Patricia Reggiani, was ultimately convicted of arranging the murder (a shooting) through a hitman, and spent 16 years in prison. Writing for the Guardian back in July, Abagail Haworth described the chronology of the murder/conviction, and how the story became a pulpy tabloid sensation in Italy, with Reggiani being named Vedova Nera, or the Black Widow:
The gunning down of 46-year-old Maurizio Gucci one morning in the red-carpeted foyer of his office, and the subsequent murder trial, captivated Italy in the late 1990s. It was sensational fin de siècle stuff. This was elegant Milan, not mob-riddled Naples, and execution-style killings of the city’s glamorous elite were unknown. Reggiani, dubbed the “Liz Taylor of luxury labels” in the 1970s and 80s, was an immediate suspect. She had openly threatened to kill Gucci after their split. But, without evidence, the crime went unsolved for nearly two years. A tip-off led to her arrest in 1997, along with four others, including the hitman.
That Guardian story didn’t stop there, as Haworth also ultimately gets to speak with Reggiani; if you want a more human glimpse into the story, it’s a very good read.
The filming of the Reggiani/Gucci story has been gestating for quite a while, with Ridley Scott originally reported to be directing it with Angelina Jolie playing Reggiani and Leonardo DiCaprio playing Gucci, then Ridley Scott’s daughter directing it with Penelope Cruz potentially playing Reggiani.
In the newest iteration of this mercurial film news story, Margot Robbie is the rumored frontrunner for Wong Kar-wai’s Annapurna-funded take. The script also seems to have been through many versions, with Andrea Berloff (Straight Outta Compton) and Charles Randolph (The Big Short) having contributed most recently to it.