What more appropriate way for an alleged abuser to await trial for twelve separate counts of sexual assault than with a return to the big screen? For an older, once-prestigious white movie star, apparently nothing. Proving the point: Kevin Spacey has nabbed his first film role since he was found not liable for $40 million in a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him by Anthony Rapp. Last month, a judge and jury found that Spacey did not molest Rapp in 1986 (when Rapp was 14 years old) and that Spacey was not liable for battery.
Spacey will play a “disembodied voice” in Cutchogue Pictures’ Control, a new project from director and writer Gene Fallaize, per Variety. The film follows Stella Simmons (Lauren Metcalfe), a British government minister enveloped in a passionate affair with her superior, the Prime Minister (Mark Hampton). As she commutes home one evening through London, Stella’s self-driving car is remotely hijacked by an anonymous attacker, who knows about Stella’s illicit romance and wants revenge.
Despite his recent not-liable verdict and the career reassurance of a new project, Spacey isn’t out of the legal woods yet, and with good reason; the disgraced actor currently faces a dozen sexual assault charges in the U.K. In July, Spacey pleaded not guilty to five initial charges brought by three separate men and has yet to enter a plea for seven new charges authorized on November 16. A trial will begin next summer.
Fallaize, who says he “grew up” watching Spacey’s films, tells Variety that although Spacey’s embattled status was “a consideration” when casting Control, he “wouldn’t say it was a concern.”
“He’s one of the greatest actors of our generation,” Fallaize shares. “His personal life aside — it’s something I can’t comment on and have no knowledge of — it’s an opportunity to work with one of the acting greats.”
To that asinine point: personal life isn’t so personal when its contents are so troubling they lead to sexual misconduct trials in two separate countries. But money and prestige have a tendency to beget sway, and just how exhaustingly expected a new vehicle for Spacey is says quite a lot about the cultural desensitization to evaded consequences. The true and ugly reality of the industry: guffawing snidely in the face of “cancel culture,” again.