According to Hadley Freeman in Guardianwhen Ethan Hawke learned in a call from New York Times that the respected newspaper was going to publish “a great story about sexual misconduct in the movie industry, focusing on one individual,” the actor responded, “Well, who is it? Harvey Weinstein or kevin spacey?”. Because the abusive behavior of both was an open secret in the Hollywood environment.
One fell in October 2017, the same month of the maelstrom of the Me Too movement in which Anthony Rapp accused the second of having hit on him in 1986 during a drunken spree, when he was only fourteen years old. Later, fifteen other men made similar and more serious accusations, eight of whom, belonging to the team of House of CardsBeau Willimon’s magnificent drama series (2013-2018) for Netflix in which Kevin Spacey plays Frank Underwood.
He was removed from the role and from executive production and does not appear in the final season; Christopher Plummer replaced him as J. Paul Getty in the film all the money in the world, by Ridley Scott (2017); and the biopic gorewhich had been shot by Michael Hoffman (2018) for the mentioned platform of streaming with him in the role of the bisexual writer Gore Vidal (1925-2012), it remains well kept in some lost drawer of the company, complete and unworn.
Netflix hides ‘Gore’ for more than the Kevin Spacey scandal
That great film that is BabyDriverthe best of Edgar Wright (2017) according to critics and in which Kevin Spacey plays Doc, was the last one that could be launched before the outbreak of the scandal around him and, therefore, without affecting in any way its distribution and ballots at the film awards. But The Young Billionaires Club, made by James Cox and starring Ron Levin, earned two-odd million dollars at the worldwide box office. A beer.
It had cost fifteen to make. AND gore, thirty-nine to Netflix, which has not been able to recover and there are no signs that it will be able to do so. By his decision, of course, but with much more sense than it seems at first glance. It was not just about joining the widespread rejection by the interpreter’s behaviorbut this had made the movie uncomfortable for the details of the libretto signed by Jay Parini and Michael Hoffman himself.
Essential details because they are basic in the plot that is narrated, those of the maneuvers of the New York writer with the gestures of Kevin Spacey to seducing young Jamie Haughton by Douglas Booth during the summer of 1982 in Italy, following his unsuccessful bid for the US Senate, as written by the first screenwriter in his essay Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal (2009). Of course, among other vital and political issues that he wants to teach you.
A film whose lead actor’s behavior has made it uncomfortable
buzzfeed got a copy of the text by Jay Parini and Michael Hoffman that was embodied in goreand contains a good number of scenes in which the protagonist proposes that his object of desire, an aspiring writer visiting with his girlfriend, Freya Mavor’s Mari, consider something that happened in ancient Rome to be normal: the sexual relations of adult and powerful men with young men. Which in itself is enough to understand that Netflix has chosen to hide the film from us.
It explores “one of the central themes of Vidal’s life, the intersection of sex, power and consent, and in doing so, inadvertently and disconcertingly echoes the accusations of sexual misconduct against Spacey,” says journalist Adam B. Vary. Well, they couldn’t tell because this feature was finished in the weeks before Kevin Spacey’s embarrassing resume blew up in his face. Rumors are one thing and certainty is another.
On the other hand, on a trip to Rome, the intellectual tempts Jamie Haughton with two transsexual prostitutes, Petra and Marcella, “two tall beauties, one brown, the other blue-eyed and blonde, dressed in low-cut dresses and fishnet stockings. ”. The two dance suggestively together with Nikolai Kinski’s dancer Rudolf Nureyev, and Gore Vidal hands his ward a lamp on which is carved “a couple of men, an older man taking a young man from behind”.
To the other’s involuntary arousal, the perennial Nobel Prize candidate tells him, “You’re hard because you’re human, and right now it doesn’t matter if beautiful Petra is a boy, a girl, or anything else.” There is no doubt that neither Jay Parini and Michael Hoffman want us to wince when we hear these words from Kevin Spacey’s mouth, nor do they want us to put ourselves in someone else’s skin because of his work. But it is impossible not to twist the gesture well, and those of Netflix know it.
A second chance?
“I understand what is happening,” he declared. Michael Stuhlbargwho brings Howard Austen to life in goreto The Hollywood Reporter in November 2017, after Netflix’s decision to put the Kevin Spacey film in the back of its archives. “Honestly, we all have some hope that maybe, in time, there will be an opportunity to that people see it in the light in which it should be seen”.
“I don’t know what will happen,” he continued. “When you work hard on something, you want people to see it. I think there’s a desire that maybe that will happen.” And, for now, the controversy has broken out again when they notified in 2021 that the actor born in New Jersey, and with two Oscars for his Roger “Verbal” Kint of usual suspects (1996) and the Lester Burnham of American Beauty (2000), will come back.
Specifically, starring Peter Five Eightby Michael Zaiko Hall and with Rebecca de Mornay as Brenda, and assuming the detective from The user I designed It gave, directed by Franco Nero (2022) and with veteran Faye Dunaway in Tasha’s shoes. The second chance for Kevin Spacey that Robin Wright was talking about, the Claire Underwood of House of Cards? AND the first step to dusting gore in the future? Who knows.
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The Netflix biopic starring Kevin Spacey that we may never see