Sony Pictures is reportedly abandoning its plans for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar campaign for Kevin Spacey for the upcoming true-life kidnapping drama All the Money in the World. Spacey has been embroiled in controversy since Sunday, when Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp alleged in a BuzzFeed interview that 30 years ago, when he was 14 years old and Spacey was 26, the actor made unwanted sexual advances against him after a party at Spacey’s apartment.
Spacey didn’t take long to address Rapp’s claims, releasing a statement over social media saying he didn’t remember the encounter, saying, “But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.”
Related: House of Cards Creator: Kevin Spacey Allegations ‘Deeply Troubling’
In response to the allegations, streaming giant Netflix and production house Media Rights Capital Monday announced that the upcoming sixth season of the actor’s acclaimed series, House of Cards, would be its last; only to change their minds Tuesday and halt the production of the show altogether. On Wednesday, Variety reported that Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos and American documentary filmmaker Tony Montana also came forward with claims of unwanted advances from Spacey, with the one of them alleging that Spacey groped him.
With the future of House of Cards an uncertainty, another project that Spacey is involved with appears to be distancing itself from the actor. According to Variety, sources close to Spacey’s next film, All the Money in the World, says that Sony and its subsidiary TriStar Pictures are shelving their Best Supporting Actor Oscar campaign for the actor. Directed by Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World stars Spacey as real-life oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty, who is faced with the dilemma of paying ransom for his kidnapped grandson, Jean Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer).
Two sources close to the marketing strategy for the film tell Variety that Spacey was going to be front and center in the scrapped campaign, which was going to focus on the actor’s physical transformation in the film since he wore heavy makeup and prosthetics to play the elder Getty. With Spacey no longer the face of the awards season campaign, the sources tell Variety that Sony will shift its focus to stars Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams instead.
Due in theaters December 22, it’s hard to say just how legitimate of a shot Spacey had at awards season recognition for All the Money in the World, but his history as an Oscar winner sans the controversy would have likely made him a contender by default. While Spacey has only been nominated for an Oscar twice, he won each time: first for Best Supporting Actor for the 1996 film The Usual Suspects, and next for Best Actor for 2000’s American Beauty.
It will be interesting to see what direction Sony goes for the remainder of the campaign, especially since the Spacey story is only a few days old and is continually evolving. Voters at this early juncture may simply look at All the Money in the World as damaged goods since Spacey — despite playing a supporting role in the film — is still playing a central figure in the narrative. Sony will have to decide whether it should put the remainder of its potential nominees, including Scott, through the campaign press gauntlet and be subject to uncomfortable questions about Spacey; or cut its losses and drop the film from contention across the board.
Although there’s been no mention of it yet, Sony may actually be facing more decisions about Spacey with another of its films, the heist thriller Baby Driver, in which Spacey again plays a supporting role. A hit among critics, Baby Driver will also likely be vying for Oscar gold this awards season, but like All the Money in the World, may be facing an uphill battle because the film is associated with Spacey.
Screen Rant will provide additional House of Cards and Kevin Spacey updates as they become available.