Kevin Spacey will no longer helm Cannes-bought Genghis Khan film following his UK sexual assault case. diversity can reveal.
The actor was set to star in 1242: Gateway to the West, a historical drama bought at the Cannes Film Market about a holy man of a Hungarian castle who tries to stop one of Genghis Khan’s armies from entering Europe to penetrate Spacey was supposed to play the holy man.
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But the film’s producer, Bill Chamberlain of Chelsea Pictures, tells it diversity that the picture has now replaced Spacey as the main actor after the former ‘House of Cards’ actor was charged in the UK with four counts of sexual assault and one charge of ‘encouraging a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent’. Negotiations are ongoing with a new lead to be announced in due course.
Spacey pleaded not guilty to all five counts in London on Thursday. He will stand trial in the UK on June 6, 2023, with the trial expected to last three to four weeks.
The English-language Gateway to the West, directed by Péter Soós, has a budget of around 10 to 25 million US dollars and is scheduled to start filming on October 17th over two months. The project is supported by the National Film Institute Hungary, Foresight Media and LipSync as well as Eric Roberts and Christopher Lambert.
Here is an official description of the film: “When the army of the Kingdom of Hungary was crushed by the Mongols in the Battle of Mohi, only Esztergom Castle stood in their way to invade Europe. Batu, grandson of Genghis Khan, reaches the walls of Esztergom with his invincible army. The defenders of the castle, led by Eusebius, the canon of Esztergom, and a Spanish mercenary, Captain Simon, prepare for the final battle. The arrival of the papal legate, Cardinal Cesareani, the Mongolian New Year and the mystical approach of Eusebius offer the defenders a small glimmer of hope.”
Australian distribution agent Galloping Entertainment had sold the global rights to the project in Cannes, but CEO Carlos Alperin said diversity when Spacey was accused in May of meeting with the film’s producers at the market to discuss the future of Gateway.
Spacey also stars in the thriller Peter Five Eight, which is being distributed by US distribution company VMI Worldwide. The company released a trailer for the film in May.
Shortly after Spacey was indicted, the producers of Peter Five Eight stood by the actor.
“There are those who would like him not to act, but they are outnumbered by fans worldwide who are waiting for an artist they have enjoyed for decades to return to the big screen,” the producers said in a statement. “The production has no knowledge of or comment on the various swirling allegations and believes it is for the courts to determine validity, if it exists. ‘Peter Five Eight’ is a film for fans who care more about the art than the scandal.”
The decision to charge Spacey was unveiled by UK prosecutors, who spent over a year reviewing a file handed to them by the Metropolitan Police.
At least some of the allegations probably stem from Spacey’s time at the Old Vic Theater in London, where he was artistic director from 2004 to 2015. Following a spate of sexual assault allegations against the actor in the US, the theater conducted an internal investigation which, according to the BBC, led to 20 victims coming forward who claimed he had behaved inappropriately towards them.
Spacey isn’t the only troubled star to appear in Cannes market projects. Johnny Depp stars in Jeanne Du Barry while James Franco stars in Mace. Alec Baldwin also has a new project called False Awakening while Roman Polanski’s new movie is The Palace. The ‘Pianist’ director has been struggling to get support for the film in France, it has been revealed diversity.
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