The producers of Peter Five Eight, a new thriller starring Kevin Spacey, responded Thursday to the approval of the charges against the actor.
“While it is unfortunate that the mounting negative press is being timed with Kevin returning to work,” the statement reads, “it is also to be expected. There are those who would like him not to perform, but they are outnumbered by fans around the world waiting for an artist they’ve loved for decades to return to the screen.”
The statement was issued by the backers of the mystery thriller — which has been shopping at the Cannes Market for the past week — and was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
On Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service approved a criminal charge against Spacey on four charges of assaulting three men. The men are now in their thirties and forties and the alleged incidents date from 2005 to 2013.
The development follows a review of evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its previous investigation into the actor. He can only be formally charged when he enters England or Wales.
Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, was Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theater in London from 2004 to 2015. It was in 2017, as the #MeToo movement grew, that allegations of sexual assault were first publicly leveled against him.
He was dropped from the lead role in Netflix’s House of Cards and his role in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World was re-shot with Christopher Plummer as the actor’s replacement.
Peter Five Eight was seen as his return to the trade and buyers were courted at the Cannes market earlier in the festival. Shot in California, the film stars Spacey as Peter, a charismatic man who shows up in a small mountain community. Rebecca De Mornay plays along.
Spacey has also concluded filming for a docudrama about Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjman; Michael Hoffman’s fictionalized account of a meeting in Italy between a young man and Gore Vidal; and on The Man Who Drew God, Franco Nero’s film about a blind man falsely accused of child abuse.
Although Spacey stars in the first two films, he has a supporting role in the third, as a detective investigating the case. Nero’s film was the first to feature Spacey to be announced, and the decision to cast him was met with much criticism.
Nero’s wife, Vanessa Redgrave, withdrew from her role in the film and was replaced by Faye Dunaway.