Gucci Family Members Are Not Pleased With the House of Gucci Movie

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Leena Kim
·4 min read
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Photo credit: Lady Gaga/Instagram
Photo credit: Lady Gaga/Instagram

There is something so seductive about a high fashion crime story, all the more so when Hollywood gets involved. See: the 1997 murder of Gianni Versace, which was serialized into the Emmy-winning Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story starring Edgar Ramirez as the doomed fashion designer and Penelope Cruz as his sister Donatella.

Another sensational murder from that era—that of Gucci scion Maurizio Gucci by a hitman hired by his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani—is getting the Tinseltown treatment this year. The film, called House of Gucci and based on the 2000 book of the same name by Sara Gay Forden, is directed by Ridley Scott, and stars Lady Gaga and Adam Driver as the couple, along with Al Pacino, Jared Leto, and Jeremy Irons as members of the Gucci family, and Call My Agent!'s Camille Cottin as Maurizio's girlfriend Paola Franchi.

The movie, due out in November, is currently filming in Italy—Lady Gaga shared a behind-the-scenes look with co-star Driver on Instagram in March, captioned "Signore e Signora Gucci," sending the internet into a tizzy.

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The fabulous costumes alone would make House of Gucci a must-watch—Gucci CEO Marco Bizzari told WWD that the company gave the production "total creative freedom" and granted access to the house's archives for wardrobe and props. The enticing subject matter—betrayal, divorce, murder, a failing dynasty—will also surely help, though members of the Gucci family are reportedly not happy with the production.

According to The Associated Press, Patrizia Gucci, a first cousin once removed of Maurizio (Maurizio and her father Paolo were cousins), has appealed to director Scott for more clarity on the scope of the film, but to no avail. “We are truly disappointed. I speak on behalf of the family,” Gucci told The AP. “They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system....Our family has an identity, privacy." Apparently it isn't so much the depiction of Maurizio's murder that worries her, but the portrayal of other members of the family, namely her father Paolo (played by Jared Leto) and her grandfather Aldo (played by Al Pacino). “My grandfather was a very handsome man, like all the Guccis, and very tall, blue eyes and very elegant. He is being played by Al Pacino, who is not very tall already, and this photo shows him as fat, short, with sideburns, really ugly. Shameful, because he doesn’t resemble him at all,” she said.

A brief history of the Gucci saga:

In 1995, Maurizio Gucci, the former head of the fashion house founded by his grandfather Guccio, was gunned down in the foyer of his Milan office. Eventually, all signs pointed to his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted of hiring four accomplices, including her psychic, to help kill Gucci. Dubbed the "Black Widow" by the press at the time, Reggiani was sentenced to 29 years in prison (she got out in 2016, after serving 18); the psychic got 25 years and the hired gun received a life sentence. Sometime after her release, Reggiani, who had long maintained her innocence, was asked why she didn't do the job herself. "My eyesight is not so good," she said, according to the Guardian. "I didn't want to miss."

Photo credit: Erin Combs - Getty Images
Photo credit: Erin Combs - Getty Images

During happier times, Gucci and Reggiani, who wed in 1972, were once an international jet-setting power couple, leading a glamorous life that included homes in New York, Milan, Acapulco, and the Swiss Alps, and that earned Mrs. Maurizio Gucci a nickname: the Liz Taylor of luxury labels. But in 1985, Gucci left his wife for another woman, Paola Franchi, and moved in with her—he told Reggiani that he was going away on a business trip and never came back. In 1994, a year before he was killed, their years-long, highly contentious divorce, during which Reggiani allegedly sent death threats to her ex, was finalized.

While the murder was the stunning climax of the Gucci saga, it was hardly the only drama to plague the dynasty. After the death of his father Rodolfo in 1983, Maurizio inherited his majority stake in the company and promptly launched legal proceedings to wrest control away from his relatives, namely his uncle Aldo. Unfortunately, Maurizio's time at the helm of the family business would be short-lived—after a series of poor financial decisions, he had to sell his stock to a Bahraini investment firm in 1993, losing all family control over the company his grandfather founded in 1921.

Photo credit: MEGA - Getty Images
Photo credit: MEGA - Getty Images

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