When Netflix severed ties with Kevin Spacey after he was accused of sexual misconduct, one of the projects that got dropped was the actor’s Gore Vidal biographical drama, entitled “Gore.” The film, directed and co-written by Michael Hoffman (“The Best of Me”) from Jay Parini’s book “Empire of Self, A Life of Gore Vidal,” wrapped production in Italy just a few weeks before the first allegation was made against Spacey. Some have wondered if anyone would release the Spacey-fronted feature, but newly released script details make it clear that seems unlikely to ever happen.
According to an in-depth report from Buzzfeed, “Gore” includes “several scenes that would almost certainly strike audiences as difficult to absorb given Spacey’s involvement. Some scenes explore Gore’s complicated and unorthodox attitudes toward transactional sex and sex with very young men, for example, and a graphic scene involves two transgender sex workers.”
“Gore” centers on the relationship between Gore (Spacey) and a younger fan named Jamie Haughton, played by “Noah” star Douglas Booth. Gore’s companion and manager, Howard Austen (Michael Stuhlbarg), sets up a meeting between the two men, which results in Vidal immediately becoming interested in the Jamie and trying to seduce him. Buzzfeed reports Jamie is a much-younger man than Gore and “the script goes to great pains to underline just how beautiful Jamie is.”
One problematic scene given Spacey’s history is set on the island of Capri. Gore and Jamie are seen wandering the ruins, where Vidal tries to “tease details of Jamie’s upbringing and how much he might be keen on sex with men.” Gore later takes Jamie on a trip to Rome, where he actively tries to explore Jamie’s “unplumbed depths.” At Gore’s Rome apartment, “two tall beauties, one coffee-colored, one blue-eyed and blonde, dressed in low cut dresses in fishnet stockings” arrive.
As the women, named Marcella and Petra, begin to suggestively dance, Gore gives Jamie a lesson about “sex, Rome, and domination.” Gore says that in ancient Rome “there was no stigma attached to fucking a man as long as you were the fucker, the penetrator… as long as you were the imperial conqueror.” Jamie’s eyes follow Gore and sees Marcella’s dress being lifted up “to reveal a big, dark cock.” When Petra’s clothes are removed, Jamie sees “a second cock in a nest of platinum pubic hair.”
Gore lectures Jamie that Marcella and Petra are “prostitutes, slaves, entertainers…those a freeborn Roman man could fuck with impunity.” Gore notices Jamie is “hard,” and says, “You’re hard because you’re human and right now it doesn’t matter if pretty Petra is a boy, a girl or everything in between.”
“Gore” was written and directed before the allegations against Spacey went public, so Spacey’s cast and crew had no idea just how problematic these scenes would be once the alleged truth of the actor’s sexual harassment and abuse came out. Spacey has remained out of the spotlight since the allegations first broke last fall. Netflix fired the actor from “House of Cards,” and the total cost of severing ties with Spacey was estimated at $39 million, mainly because “Gore” was produced in-house and would never be released.
Head over to Buzzfeed to read all of the details on the “Gore” screenplay.