The Gucci family has hit out against the “horrible, horrible” and “ugly” casting of the House of Gucci film, starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver.
The film, which is now in production and directed by Sir Ridley Scott, tells the story of Patrizia Reggiani and her doomed marriage to Maurizio Gucci. Reggiani was convicted of his assassination in 1998 after hiring a hitman to kill him.
But members of the Gucci family have expressed their shock after seeing paparazzi photos from the set, which also stars Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci, who played a key role in growing the fashion label internationally, and Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci, who helped create the company’s famous double G logo.
Patrizia Gucci, one of Maurizio’s second cousin’s, told Associated Press the photos of Leto with a bald head dressed in a lilac suit were “horrible, horrible. I still feel offended.”
Of Pacino’s portrayal of Aldo Gucci, she said: “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 the family was “truly disappointed. I speak on behalf of the family. 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. We can talk about everything, but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed.”
The film, due for release in October, is based on the book by Sara Gay Forden, The House of Gucci: a Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed.
It recounts the story of Reggiani, who hired a hitman to kill Maurizio Gucci outside his office in Milan in 1995 after he left her for another woman. Reggiani, called the “Black Widow” by the Italian media during her trial, was released from prison in 2016 after serving 17 years of her 29-year sentence. Gucci, the grandson of Guccio Gucci, the founder of the fashion house, was 46 when he died.
When a reporter asked Reggiani why she had not shot her ex-husband herself, she said: “My eyesight is not so good. I didn’t want to miss.”
Earlier this week, the film’s cinematographer, Dariusz Wolski, described the film as a “soap opera”. “It’s a bit of kitschy, funny, tragic tragedy – like a high-end soap opera,” he told Indie Wire. “With a crazy cast as well.”
Scott’s wife, Giannina Facio, met the Gucci family in the 2000s to discuss another project that was due to focus on the company’s global expansion led by Patrizia Gucci’s father, Paolo, and grandfather Aldo.
But Patrizia Gucci claims she reached out to Facio to discuss House of Gucci and did not hear back. The Guardian has contacted Scott’s production company for comment.
After on-set photos were released from the film, which is due to be released in November, particular attention was given to the retro clothes worn by Gaga and Driver in scenes of them standing by Alpine ski slopes, getting married and feeding each other calzone pizza.
The Gucci president and chief executive, Marco Bizzarri, told Women’s Wear Daily that the fashion label had allowed the film “total creative freedom”. He said: “Gucci is collaborating with MGM and [Scott’s production company] Scott Free Productions by providing access to the house’s historical archive for wardrobe and props.”
It was announced earlier this month that Salma Hayek, who is married to François-Henri Pinault, the chief executive and chairman of Kering, which owns Gucci, had joined the cast of the film playing Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, Reggiani’s clairvoyant friend who was sentenced to 25 years for organising the killing for a fee of £250,000.
“I’ve been talking with her about this Gucci project for 20 years,” Facio told Deadline. “Now it’s happening and she is a part of it. Rid and I are thrilled.”