In mid-June, less than two weeks before the start of Kevin Spacey’s UK criminal trial on multiple charges of sexual assault, the German publication ZEIT Magazine hosted an interview with the actor in which he said he anticipated returning to work almost immediately should he be found not guilty.
“There are people right now who are ready to hire me the moment I am cleared of these charges in London,” he said. “By the time that happens, they’re ready to move on.”
Such bold claims may come back to haunt the two-time Oscar winner, who was found not guilty of all nine charges he faced in the UK. In November, he too was found not liable in the New York civil case brought by American actor Anthony. rap.
With Spacey legally exonerated, is his claim that producers are now lining up to cast him true? And if so, what kind of projects? Indeed, the main discussion among commentators after Spacey walked free from Southwark Crown Court on July 26 — nearly six years since he was subjected to what is arguably the most dramatic cancellation of any actor in the wake of of the #MeToo era—was whether he could rebuild his leading man status and pick up where he left off in 2017.
According to multiple sources, the answer is no, at least nothing resembling the lauded Hollywood career she once had.
As a former studio head puts it succinctly the hollywood reporter: “Not going to prison does not qualify as an indicator of someone’s exciting career prospects.”
When Spacey’s “world blew up,” as he tearfully told the jury in London, his star credentials were largely boosted by Netflix. house of cards, which had already earned him Golden Globe and SAG awards, as well as five Emmy nominations. He would also show up from time to time to add some prestige to various high-profile features.
universal baby driver was released just before the sexual harassment allegations surfaced in November 2017, but Sony saw fit to cut it from that year’s Ridley Scott historical drama. all the money in the world in some famously expensive reshoots (Christopher Plummer replaced him as J. Paul Getty) and painstaking digital deletes. By then, he had already been fired from house of cards by the MRC producers (who also demanded that he pay more than $30 million due to the losses caused by his dismissal for cause). Netflix scrapped his Gore Vidal biopic, which had wrapped just weeks before.
Hardly seen on screen since then, Spacey’s very limited work over the ensuing years has been confined to a handful of small roles in low-budget, obscure indie titles, including comedy. peter five eighty and suspense Control (only one voice role), neither of which has been released, and the Italian drama The man who drew God (which opened in Italy last year with Spacey voiced by a local actor).
Assuming Spacey even wants to return, the idea of Hollywood immediately opening the very doors it closed so ferociously may be wishful thinking on his part.
“I think it will take some time to see where the streamers and the studios stand on casting Spacey,” says Miriam Elchanan, a senior vice president at Fabrication Films, which this year released the film starring Alec Baldwin. kent state at the Cannes March. “I think the challenge would be predominantly on the domestic side; I’m not sure there’s much demand for him in a leading role in North America right now.”
Last year, another big-name actor tried to resurrect his career: Johnny Depp, who had previously made billions at the box office and led a major Disney franchise before his domestic legal dispute with ex-wife Amber Heard tarnished his reputation. But, as one international buyer suggests, there’s very little to compare.
“It’s not like Depp, where you say, ‘Oh, now he’s free, let’s go after Joan of Barrysays the buyer, adding that as Spacey’s shares have plummeted, even international distributors less concerned with his legal issues and optics are unlikely to be interested in a project simply because he’s in it. .
So where does that leave the actor, who during the UK trial and hearing implied that he was financially broke and needed to work?
For a producer, Spacey’s future likely lies in the lower rungs of the industry and the kind of “cheaper action-thrillers” seen in the aisles of the American Film Market and in the corners of other film markets. international. “I think he’ll have that ‘Millennium Phase’ first,” he adds, referring to the production company renowned for its Expendable Supply Items franchise that has given several aging stars a new lease on life, as well as numerous titles starring Nic Cage and Gerard Butler.
There is also the question of representation. Among the first to act on the 2017 allegations was CAA, which dropped Spacey just days later, as did her publicist Staci Wolfe. There’s no indication who, if anyone, is answering the calls that may be coming in now, and it remains to be seen if any major agencies would be interested in hiring him.
As one veteran publicist points out, even though Spacey has been found not guilty, such was the scope of the allegations and the speed of his departure from Hollywood that the damage may be difficult to repair.
“His stock went from negative 20 percent to negative 5 percent,” says the publicist. “It’s hard to recapture the energy that surrounds you in a meaningful way.”
Kim Masters contributed to this article.