The producers of Peter Five Eight, a new thriller starring Kevin Spacey, have responded to the charges of sexual assault brought against the actor on Thursday.
“While it’s unfortunate that increased negative press is timed with Kevin returning to work,” the statement reads, “it’s also to be expected. There are those who wish for him not to act, but they are outnumbered by fans worldwide who await an artist they have enjoyed for decades returning to the screen.”
The statement was issued by the backers of the mystery thriller – which has been shopped at the Cannes Market over the past week – and was obtained by the Hollywood Reporter.
On Thursday, the Crown Prosecution Service authorised criminal charges against Spacey for four counts of sexual assault against three men. The men are now in their 30s and 40s 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 if he enters England or Wales.
Spacey, a two-time Oscar winner, was artistic director of the Old Vic theatre in London between 2004 and 2015. It was in 2017, as the #MeToo movement grew, that sexual-assault allegations were first publicly raised against him.
He was dropped from the lead role in Netflix’s House of Cards and his part in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World was reshot with Christopher Plummer replacing the actor.
Peter Five Eight was viewed as his return to the profession and buyers were courted at the Cannes Market earlier in the festival. The film, shot in California, stars Spacey as Peter, a charismatic man who shows up in a small mountainside community. Rebecca De Mornay co-stars.
Spacey has also wrapped shooting on a docudrama about Croatia’s first president, Franjo Tudjman; Michael Hoffman’s fictionalised 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 wrongly accused of molesting a child.
Although Spacey stars in the first two films, he takes a supporting role in the third, as a detective investigating the case. Nero’s film was the first to feature Spacey that was announced, and the decision to cast him met with considerable backlash.
Nero’s wife, Vanessa Redgrave, withdrew from her role in the film and was replaced by Faye Dunaway.