Kevin Spacey to Star in Sam Mendes-Helmed Richard III

Kevin Spacey/Sam Mendez - The Cherry Orchard Afterparty - 2009
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The Bridge Project's Shakespeare staging will premiere in London on June 29, 2011.

Kevin Spacey will star in the title role of William Shakespeare's Richard III next summer, The Bridge Project confirmed Wednesday.
Sam Mendes
will helm the production, to open at The Old Vic in London on June 29, 2011. Tickets go on sale Jan. 31, 2011. The production is part of the three-year Bridge Project, a joint venture between The Old Vic, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Mendes' Neal Street Prods. It will play BAM's Harvey Theater in 2012.
Mendes and Spacey last worked together on American Beauty, for which they earned BAFTA and Oscars Awards. PHOTOS: Most memorable Oscar host moments.
Mendes says he's "absolutely delighted" to work with Spacey again.
"I am doubly thrilled that he will be leading year three of The Bridge Project. Richard III is a play I love, and a role I think Kevin is born to play," he adds.
Spacey, who is also the Old Vic artistic director, says, "Sam, [BAM Executive Producer] Joe [Melillo], and I are so excited to announce this production. Sam is one of the finest directors I have had the pleasure to work with and to gain this opportunity is beyond my wildest hopes. I love Sam’s perspective on a role, carving and shaping the actor. With such a remarkable character before me I have a feeling this one is going to be a memorable experience."
 "Producing The Bridge Project in association with my counterparts at Neal Street and The Old Vic has been one of the highlights of my professional career. To conclude this extraordinary enterprise with Kevin Spacey performing one of Shakespeare’s most iconic roles under the direction of Sam Mendes gives new meaning to going out on a high note," says BAM Executive Producer Joseph V. Melillo.