The story of murder suspect Andrew Cunanan — whose alleged victims include Gianni Versace — has all the elements of a slick, quick movie-of-the-week: famous names, serial killings, cross-dressing. But don’t expect to see the saga competing on the Big Four this fall a la the ”Long Island Lolita” movies. ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox spokespeople say there are no current plans for a Cunanan/Versace movie. Industryites say the story has too many obstacles, dramatically speaking. ”Who is there to root for?” asks Michael O’Hara, who produced Murder in the Heartland, about ’50s spree killer Charles Starkweather. ”A gay serial killer? Or Versace, a very complicated man?” More problematic, adds O’Hara, is that ”homosexuality scares the networks.”
Hollywood isn’t fighting over it either. Producers — including Scott Rudin, Linda Bruckheimer, Arnold Kopelson, and Lynda Obst — recently presented with the proposal for Christopher Mason’s upcoming Versace bio, Undressed, either have passed (Obst) or are still mulling it over.
While Tinseltown waits, publishers waste no time. Besides Undressed (due in ‘98 from Little, Brown), St. Martin’s Press plans Death at Every Stop, about Cunanan’s alleged spree, in August. And Vanity Fair’s Maureen Orth just inked a deal for her unfinished Cunanan profile. ”The publishing world has been able to beat the TV and the movie business,” says former ABC chairman Ted Harbert. ”That’s been the trend. Look at the quickie books on O.J.” Well, maybe trendsetting isn’t such a good thing.