The True Story Behind Upcoming Film ‘House Of Gucci’

Glamour and mayhem

There’s no escaping the love and hype surrounding the upcoming film House Of Gucci. Numerous paparazzi shots (including actual movie scenes) of leads Lady Gaga and Adam Driver on set continue to pop up on social media. The trailer has also been released (view it below).

If we’re being honest, we can’t help but feel like we’ve already seen half the movie at this point. Even so, we’re still excited to watch what’s looking to be a very glamorous, fashionable picture.

While we all wait for its theatrical release, get to know the controversial history of the Gucci clan and the events that led up to the infamous murder of Maurizio Gucci in the hands of his ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani. Plus, learn fun facts about the making of the film and when you can expect to catch it. Here’s everything we know so far about House Of Gucci.

The complicated true story behind House Of Gucci

The history of the Gucci family has always been a biopic waiting to happen. It’s more or less filled with the same themes that made Game Of Thrones popular — ambition, family betrayal, and, unfortunately, murder. But it didn’t start out that way. In fact, its origins are more of a wholesome feel-good rags-to-riches story fit for Disney.

Before becoming a successful businessman, Gucci founder Guccio Gucci served as a humble porter at the opulent Savoy Hotel in London. It was there that he encountered the upper echelon and got to know their way of life; their tastes, how they travel and, most importantly for Guccio, what kind of bags they own. Armed with this knowledge and some savings, the Florence-native went back to his hometown and worked for a leather goods manufacturer called Franzi. There, he married dressmaker Aida Calvelli and adopted her son (Ugo) from a previous relationship. Together, they had five biological children, four sons (Vasco, Aldo, Enzo and Rodolfo; Enzo died in childhood) and a daughter (Grimalda). Later on, a sibling rivalry that will cost the family their legacy will ensue.

In 1921, Guccio opened his own store in Florence and sold unique, imported travel luggage along with his own creations. From then on, the Gucci brand thrived. Even under the strains of leather shortage in the second world war, the brand was able to adapt and become inventive, even using a bamboo handle for some of their pieces.

Guccio’s sons eventually expanded the company from Florence to Milan and overseas. Upon the founder’s death in 1953, the Gucci ownership was divided among his three sons Aldo, Vasco and Rodolfo; each with his own role. Aldo concentrated on furthering the brand’s expansion, Vasco oversaw production and Rodolfo managed local shops in Florence and Milan. Grimalda, Guccio’s daughter, on the other hand, was completely cut off. She sued for her share but eventually lost in court.

Gucci continued to flourish thanks to celebrities, royals and social elites who wore their pieces. However, underneath the glitz and glam, a rift was forming and another family feud (since Grimalda’s suing for her share) was about to cause trouble. After Vasco’s death in 1974, his shares defaulted to his widow but was later bought by his brothers, giving Aldo and Rodolfo a 50-50 share in Gucci. Aldo divided some of his shares among his three sons Giorgio, Paolo and Roberto. Having a lot of people with different takes on how a company should be run can be a recipe for trouble.

Paolo went on to use the iconic Gucci Flora pattern for his own women’s clothing line without permission. When the rest of the Gucci family found out, he was sued and ordered to stop. Paolo retaliated by outing his father Aldo for discrepancies in the company’s books and Aldo was eventually charged with tax evasion in 1986. Giorgio also started his own brand using the family name, which was eventually reabsorbed by the parent company.

The Gucci Flora reimagined by Gucci’s current creative director Alessandro Michele.

The real trouble began when Rodolfo died in 1983 and his shares — 50 percent — was handed over to his son, Maurizio Gucci. His then-wife, Patrizia Reggiani shared that it was then that Maurizio “got crazy” and “stopped listening to her”. We don’t know about crazy, but Maurizio’s ambition became palpable and he eventually gained majority control of Gucci, through the help of a foreign investor, despite the many lawsuits filed against him, including an allegation that he forged his father’s signature. Despite his cunning business acumen, Maurizio failed to continue the family legacy. Gucci dove into financial trouble and was bought and saved by Investcorp in 1993. They then hired Tom Ford as Creative Director, who brought much-needed freshness and sexiness to the brand.

Maurizio and Patrizia during happier times

Maurizio and Patrizia’s marriage became troubled. Patrizia said that she was “very angry” and “filled with rage” about losing the family business. But we can assume, it’s also because of an affair her then-husband was having with Paola Franchi. Eighteen months after giving up Gucci, Maurizio was gunned down by a hitman in March 1995. There were a lot of suspects because of all the feuds he had but in the end, they discovered that it was Patrizia who ordered the hit. She was sentenced to 26 years in prison in 1998 but was released early in 2016. At the time, it was, as the New York Times puts it, a “real-life soap opera”. Now it’s a soon-to-be-blockbuster movie.

Who’s going to play who?

With a large cast of characters, House Of Gucci is going to be a star-studded movie. Here’s who’s going to play who.

Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani

You may already know this casting choice, but what you may not know is that Lady Gaga was not the first nor second choice for it. The Gucci family biopic has been in the works since the noughties and has even changed directors several times. Angelina Jolie was rumoured to get the role during Ridley Scott’s time. Then it changed to Penelope Cruz when Ridley’s daughter, Jordan, replaced him as director. Around 2016, there was chatter that it was Margot Robbie who won the role. Lady Gaga became the final choice, and we have to say that it’s great casting. She also looks similar to the real-life Patrizia.

Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci

Like Lady Gaga, Adam Driver is also not the first choice to play the ambitious Maurizio. Leonardo di Caprio was once considered for the role back when Angelina Jolie was rumoured to play Patrizia. But we say Adam Driver is also a good casting choice. Aside from the resemblance to the real-life Maurizio, he has also proven to be a great actor with his recent projects like Marriage Story which earned him awards.

Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci

It wouldn’t be the first time for Al Pacino to play a role in a movie about the drama and mayhem of an Italian family. Famous for his role in the Godfather movies, Al Pacino sure has the experience of portraying larger than life characters.

Jared Leto as Paolo Gucci

Jared Leto has a knack for playing rebellious characters like in Panic Room when he broke into a house to steal “his inheritance”. And of course, whether you love it or hate it, no one can ever forget his portrayal of the Joker. He’s the perfect pick to play Paolo Gucci, the wayward young Gucci heir. And don’t you think it’s just apt for him to get a role in a movie about a label he’s represented for years?

Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo Gucci

With numerous movies under his belt, including The French Lieutenant's Woman alongside Meryl Streep, Jeremy Irons will no doubt crush this role.

Salma Hayek as Giuseppina "Pina" Auriemma

The Frida star, who also appeared in the popular TV series 30 Rock and Ugly Betty, is set to star as Patrizia’s clairvoyant confidante who is indicted for arranging the hit on Maurizio Gucci. Even though it’s not the starring role, we’re always happy (and excited!) to see the talented Salma Hayek in action.

As the release date of the movie draws nearer, more cast rumours and confirmations are being released, including the casting of Robert De Niro, Reeve Carney and more. But only time will tell if they will indeed be part of the House Of Gucci.

When will House Of Gucci be released?

There are reports that House Of Gucci will have a theatrical release scheduled this coming November in the United States and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, there is still no hard confirmation on when it will be released in our region. Stay tuned!

(Cover photo from: @ladygaga)

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