Versace: Biopic of the Late Italian Designer, to be Directed by Danish Helmer Bille August

Danish helmer Bille August will travel to Italy to direct Versace, an English-language biopic of the late fashion designer Gianni Versace.

The movie is being lead-produced by Italy’s Oberon Prods. Jesper Morthorst at Svensk Filmindustri is co-producing.

Versace will chronicle the designer’s rise to fame in the late 1970s, when he launched the brand, and end with his murder in 1997, when he was shot and killed at his Miami mansion.

“It will be a biopic in the vein of Walk the Line, a portrait of a genius fighting his own demons, and it will be uplifting and moving rather than dark and tragic,” said Morthorst. “Versace struggled his whole life to find an inner peace and love, and he had finally found both just before he was killed.”

The $12 million movie will be co-produced by Spanish and Belgian partners.

Casting is under way and the lensing is expected to kick off by year-end.

Morthorst is the producer of the Danish comedy series “Rita,” a Netflix original drama that’s now in its third season.

Before shooting Versace, August will lense 55 Steps, with 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 to have a say in their medication.