Kevin Spacey has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by numerous men, but that’s not stopping Vertical Entertainment from releasing the actor’s new film in theaters this summer. “Billionaire Boys Club,” directed by James Cox, reunites Spacey with “Baby Driver” co-star Ansel Elgort in the story of young men attempting to strike it rich by planning a Ponzi scheme. The movie was shot in 2015 and early 2016, long before the allegations against Spacey surfaced in fall 2017.
“We hope these distressing allegations pertaining to one person’s behavior — that were not publicly known when the film was made almost 2.5 years ago — do not tarnish the release,” Vertical Entertainment said in a statement to The Wrap.
“We don’t condone sexual harassment on any level and we fully support victims of it,” the indie distributor continued. “At the same time, this is neither an easy nor insensitive decision to release this film in theaters, but we believe in giving the cast, as well as hundreds of crew members who worked hard on the film, the chance to see their final product reach audiences.”
“Billionaire Boys Club” features a large ensemble cast that includes Taron Egerton, Emma Roberts, Jeremy Irvine, Cary Elwes, Suki Waterhouse, Billie Lourd, and Rosanna Arquette, among others. Spacey appears in a supporting role, but his character Ron Levin is an important presence in the film’s story.
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“In the end, we hope audiences make up their own minds as to the reprehensible allegations of one person’s past, but not at the expense of the entire cast and crew present on this film,” Vertical Entertainment’s statement concluded.
With Spacey involved in a prominent role, “Billionaire Boys Club” could be a tough sell for Vertical Entertainment. The film’s trailer tried to hide Spacey’s face as much as possible, although the movie is already becoming synonymous with Spacey’s return to the big screen. Vertical’s summer is off to a rough start with “Gotti,” and the indie distributor has also been behind “Golden Exits,” “The Strange Ones,” and “LBJ.”
“Billionaire Boys Club” opens in theaters August 17, following a digital VOD release on July 17.