August saw the sad, quiet release of a movie called Billionaire Boys Club, a crime drama featuring disgraced actor Kevin Spacey in a supporting role. It made just $1,349 domestically, and Spacey’s latest project stands to make much, much less. In fact, Netflix’s desire to disassociate from the actor entirely—they previously fired him from the final season of House Of Cards—came with a $39 million price tag.
The streaming giant was already in post-production on a Gore Vidal biopic starring Spacey as Vidal when they announced that they would be canceling it. This prompted actor Michael Stuhlbarg, who co-stars in the film, to say that “we all have some hope that perhaps … over time there will be a chance for people to see it in the light in which it was meant to be seen.” You can’t blame him; it’s unfortunate that one man’s behavior has the power to tank projects that dozens, if not hundreds, of people have put their blood, sweat, and tears into.
This one, though? Woof. Buzzfeed obtained a copy of the shooting script that, they say, “contains several scenes that would almost certainly strike audiences as difficult to absorb given Spacey’s involvement.” They add, “Some scenes explore Vidal’s complicated and unorthodox attitudes toward transactional sex and sex with very young men, for example, and a graphic scene involves two transgender sex workers.” Vidal’s character also often references sex with “little boys.”
The piece, it should be noted, isn’t a criticism of the film so much as it is an assertion of why Spacey’s involvement makes it arguably unwatchable. Without Spacey, they note, the film “would have made for a fascinating addition to the culture’s ongoing #MeToo conversation.”
Read descriptions of the scenes and see excerpts from the script over at Buzzfeed.