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When Bryan Singer was accused of alleged sexual abuse in April 2014, 20th Century Fox had to quickly revamp its marketing campaign for Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. The director stopped doing press and skipped the film’s world premiere the following month.
Sony’s TriStar is suddenly facing a similar dilemma as it gears up for the release of All the Money in the World, starring Kevin Spacey opposite Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams. Overnight, Spacey has become the latest Hollywood power broker to find himself engulfed in a sexual assault scandal, likely making it difficult for him to make appearances on behalf of the movie unless the controversy dissipates quickly.
TriStar is handling the movie in the U.S., while STX International has overseas duties.
All the Money in the World is set to open in theaters Dec. 22 — in the heart of awards season — after making its world premiere at the AFI Fest on Nov. 16. The Ridley Scott-directed film recounts the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III. Spacey plays the teen’s grandfather, the infamous billionaire J. Paul Getty.
An AFI spokesman tells The Hollywood Reporter that the festival’s schedule is locked and there won’t be any changes.
Sony declined comment regarding Spacey’s participation in the film’s marketing campaign going forward. The good news for the studio is that Wahlberg and Williams are major stars, while Scott is a marquee director. Sony also has two months left before the pic’s release, should it decide to rejigger advertising materials.
On Sunday night, Spacey tweeted his “sincerest apology” to Star Trek actor Anthony Rapp, who hours earlier alleged that Spacey made a pass at him when Rapp was 14 years old.
Spacey has come under intense criticism for using the statement, in which he said he didn’t remember the incident, to come out as a gay man. GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis said Monday in a statement that “coming-out stories should not be used to deflect from allegations of sexual assault.” Elsewhere, actor Zachary Quinto tweeted it was a “calculated manipulation to deflect attention from a very serious accusation.”
In an additional statement to THR, Ellis said, “The market will soon tell us if they are able to stomach him [Spacey] on the big screen, but his response to Anthony Rapp’s allegations has been met with sweeping outrage and is the latest signal that the public wants to see major change and accountability in Hollywood.”
In 2014, Singer’s career recovered when his accuser, Michael Egan, quickly dropped his lawsuit alleging that Singer abused him.
It remains to be seen the extent to which Spacey’s career is impacted.
On Monday, Netflix announced that House of Cards, the acclaimed series starring Spacey as U.S. president Frank Underwood, will end with the sixth season, which is now in production. While the decision to end the show was already in the works, Netflix and House of Cards producer Media Rights Capital issued a statement saying they are “deeply troubled” by the allegations made against Spacey, who is also an executive producer on the series.
“In response to last night’s revelations, executives from both of our companies arrived in Baltimore this afternoon to meet with our cast and crew to ensure that they continue to feel safe and supported. As previously scheduled, Kevin Spacey is not working on set at this time,” the statement said.
Netflix is also the home of Gore, starring Spacey as late author Gore Vidal. The streamer’s original movie, which is shooting in Europe, also stars Griffin Dunne, Douglas Booth and Michael Stuhlberg, who plays Gore’s longtime companion.
Netflix, which didn’t immediately respond to queries about Gore, is planning a 2018 release.
Spacey also plays a supporting role in the indie movie Billionaire Boys Club, now in postproduction but which doesn’t have a U.S. distributor yet.
Spacey has not announced other new acting projects.
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