One of the first consequences that Kevin Spacey had to face in the aftermath of the many sexual assault accusations against him was the cancellation of his long-running landmark Netflix series House Of Cards. Now that the streaming service has pulled the plug on that, I wonder what will become of same studio’s Gore Vidal (1925-2012) biopic, imaginatively titled Gore, which was scheduled for release in early 2018.
Vidal was noted for his complex relationship with his own gayness, and that must have been a factor in casting Spacey when they put together the project. But now, Vidal fans like me would probably rather avoid the association altogether.
Also, TriStar Pictures, owned by Sony Pictures Entrainment has been put in a bind. Their big film, All The Money In The World, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Spacey, had been planned to open nationwide on December 22, just in time for award consideration.
“When I read the script, I started thinking, “Who was J. Paul Getty?” In my mind, I saw Kevin Spacey. Kevin’s a brilliant actor, but I’ve never worked with him, and I always knew I would have to have him portray Getty in this film. He was so obsessed with what he was doing… He wasn’t giving people a second thought.”
All The Money In The World is a real life crime thriller written by David Scarpa, based on John Pearson’s book Painfully Rich: The Outrageous Fortunes And Misfortunes Of The Heirs Of J. Paul Getty. It stars Spacey, Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, and Timothy Hutton. The film tells the story of J. Paul Getty’s (played by a nearly unrecognizable Spacey) refusal to cooperate with the extortion demands of a group of kidnappers who had abducted and mutilated his 16-year-old grandson John Paul Getty III in 1973. The film is set to premiere at the AFI Fest on November 16.
The project’s Academy Awards campaign was based around Spacey’s performance, however, that campaign has now been cancelled.
Netflix formally cut all ties with Spacey on Friday with mounting allegations of sexual harassment, assault and other inappropriate behavior that have now been put in the spotlight. Gore has also been canceled by the Netflix, even though shooting in Italy is finished and it was already in post-production.
Netflix issued the following statement:
“Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House Of Cards. We will continue to work with House Of Cards production company MRC during this hiatus time to evaluate our path forward as it relates to the show. We have also decided we will not be moving forward with the release of the film Gore.”
The producers of House Of Cards have speculated on how the series might go forward in the wake of the allegations against its star; among the ideas have been a possible spin-off without Spacey’s character Frank Underwood, or to maybe simply kill the character off.
Poor Spacey, his longtime talent agency CAA has given him the boot, and his publicist, Staci Wolfe, has also ditched him.
I can’t help but take stock of the lives and livelihoods damaged by Spacey’s alleged behavior.
Gore is directed by Michael Hoffman, who did the terrific The Last Station (2009). Much of the film was shot at Vidal’s beloved gravity-defying villa La Rondinaia, located a thousand feet above the Tyrrhenian Sea outside the town of Ravello. At La Rondinaia, Vidal lived there with Howard Austen his partner of 50 years, and it is where the couple entertained their friends including Greta Garbo, Lauren Bacall, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Andy Warhol, Rudolf Nureyev, and Mick Jagger.
The study where Vidal regularly wrote was meticulously reconstructed within the villa for the shoot by production designer Patrizia Von Brandenstein, who won an Academy Award for Amadeus (1984).
Netflix does have more Vidal; they are streaming director Nicholas Wrathall’s excellent documentary Gore Vidal: The United States Of Amnesia (2013). If it is ever shown, Gore would be the first feature film about Vidal’s life.