She's one of fashion's most striking figures and the subject of an upcoming TV series.

But the actor who will play Donatella Versace looks nothing like her.

Oscar-winner Penélope Cruz has been cast to play the peroxide blonde Italian style maven in the next series of American Crime Story, about the murder of Donatella's brother, designer Gianni Versace, according to Variety.

Penelope Cruz will play Dontella Versace. Photo / Getty
Penelope Cruz will play Dontella Versace. Photo / Getty

It puts to rest the long-held rumours that Lady Gaga - a close friend and collaborator of Donatella's - would play her in the true crime series.

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Versace: American Crime Story will detail the events leading up to Gianni's murder in 1997 by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who brutally murdered at least five people and then shot himself in Miami, according to variety.com.

Italian fashion designers Gianni (1946 - 1997) and Donatella Versace at the launch for their new fragrance 'Versace's Blonde', USA, circa 1996. Photo / Getty
Italian fashion designers Gianni (1946 - 1997) and Donatella Versace at the launch for their new fragrance 'Versace's Blonde', USA, circa 1996. Photo / Getty

Edgar Ramirez will play Gianni and former Glee star Darren Criss signed on to star as his killer in the series, produced by former Glee and American Horror Story powerhouse Ryan Murphy.

The series is due to air in 2018 and will be based on the book Vulgar Favors, about Versace's murder.

Murphy previously said Lady Gaga was not being considered for the role due to her busy schedule.

"And when you're going to do a show like Versace, it's a five-month commitment, it's a very big show, we're shooting it all over the world," Murphy said.

Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace attend a fashion show together in Paris. Photo / Getty
Lady Gaga and Donatella Versace attend a fashion show together in Paris. Photo / Getty

"So I just don't think with her schedule, I knew that it would never have worked. But I would love to work with her on something in the future."