Apart from his increasingly bizarre YouTube videos every festive season, Kevin Spacey hasn’t appeared on screen since his acting career came to a halt after he was first accused of sexual misconduct in 2017.
More than a dozen men and teen boys in both the United States and UK have come forward to accuse the Oscar winner of sexual assault and abuse, including attempted rape, turning the once-celebrated film and theatre star into a Hollywood pariah.
Now, Spacey is set to make his return to acting after being cast in the upcoming Italian film L’uomo Che Disegno Dio, or The Man Who Drew God, from director Franco Nero, who will also reportedly star in the project.
“I’m very happy Kevin agreed to participate in my film,” Nero, who is perhaps best known for his titular performance in Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 film Django, told ABC News. “I consider him a great actor and I can’t wait to start the movie.”
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The film, which also stars Nero’s wife, Vanessa Redgrave, will be Spacey’s first major role since he was rewritten out of the final season of the Netflix series House Of Cards and was replaced by Christopher Plummer in All The Money In The World after the allegations against him first surfaced.
Spacey last appeared in the 2018 commercial flop Billionaire Boys Club, which earned a dismal $126 (around £89) on opening day.
The actor has yet to comment on the new project, which reportedly centres around a blind artist who finds fame after he is imbued with a godlike talent of drawing portraits of his subjects just by listening to their voice, according to TMZ.
A Variety report added that Spacey will play a “small role as a police detective,” describing his involvement in the film as a cameo appearance.
The American Beauty actor’s career came crashing down when BuzzFeed first reported Anthony Rapp’s accusation that Spacey made inappropriate sexual advances when he was 14 and Spacey was 26.
At the time, Spacey said he didn’t remember the incident but apologized and, for the first time, publicly declared that he was gay in a much-criticised statement.
Rapp’s story opened the floodgates, and multiple other victims shared their own allegations against the actor in the following weeks. Many accounts were tied to Spacey’s tenure as artistic director of London’s Old Vic Theatre between 1995 and 2013.
Since then, Spacey has faced multiple lawsuits, but has yet to be found guilty on any criminal charges.
A 2018 case against Spacey over his alleged groping of a teenage boy in Massachusetts was dropped after multiple setbacks in court. The actor pleaded not guilty and the alleged victim ultimately withdrew his civil lawsuit.
A separate lawsuit involving a massage therapist who claimed Spacey sexually assaulted him during a session in October 2016 ended after the accuser died in 2019. The accuser’s estate filed a notice dismissing the lawsuit and each side agreed to pay its own costs, according to court documents.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled that an anonymous plaintiff in a still-unfolding $40 million sexual assault lawsuit against the actor, which also includes Rapp, must publicly reveal his identity in order to proceed.
The man, known only as “C.D.” had 10 days to refile under his own name, but his lawyers told the court at the time that their client was “emotionally unable to proceed with the action and will discontinue his claims.”