Reports suggest that Spanish actress Penélope Cruz has signed on to play a leading role in a film about murdered Gucci heir Maurizio Gucci's life.

Cruz is linked to the role of Gucci's ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, who hired a hitman to kill her ex-husband in 1995.

Reggiani was arrested in January 1997 and in 1998 was found guilty of arranging the late heir's murder, receiving a 29-year jail sentence.

During the course of her imprisonment, a judge shortened her sentence by two years after her children argued a brain tumour affected her mental health. The 'Black Widow' as she became known in Italian tabloids, was given a chance at parole in 2011, but declined.

The picture is being helmed by Jordan Scott, and Cruz is currently shooting with the young director's father, Ridley, on The Counselor.