Kevin Spacey

Kevin Spacey quits the Genghis Khan movie after being accused of sexual assault (EXCLUSIVE)

Variety has learned that Kevin Spacey will not be starring in the Genghis Khan movie that was being pitched in Cannes. This is because of his sexual assault case in the U.K.

“1242: Gateway to the West” was a historical drama that was shopped around at the Cannes film market. It was about a holy man in a Hungarian castle who tries to stop one of Genghis Khan’s armies from invading Europe. Spacey was going to play the religious figure.

But the movie’s producer, Bill Chamberlain, told Variety that Spacey has been replaced as the lead after he was charged in the U.K. with four counts of sexual assault and one count of “causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent.” Talks are going on with a new lead, who will be revealed when the time is right.

On Thursday in London, Spacey said he was not guilty of all five charges. On June 6, 2023, he will go on trial in the U.K., and the trial is expected to last three to four weeks.

The English-language “Gateway to the West,” which will be directed by Péter Soós and cost between $10 million and $25 million, will start filming on Oct. 17 for two months. The National Film Institute of Hungary, Foresight Media and LipSync are all behind the project, and Eric Roberts and Christopher Lambert are also in it.

Here’s what the movie is officially called: “When the Mongols destroyed the army of the Kingdom of Hungary at the Battle of Mohi, the Castle of Esztergom was the only thing that stopped them from moving into Europe. Batu, who is the grandson of Genghis Khan, leads his army to the walls of Esztergom. The defenders of the castle, led by Eusebius, the canon of Esztergom, and captain Simon, a Spanish mercenary, are getting ready for the last battle. Cardinal Cesareani’s arrival as papal legate, the Mongol Lunar New Year, and Eusebius’s mystical approach give the defenders a small glimmer of hope.

Galloping Entertainment was selling the global rights to the project in Cannes, but when Spacey was charged in May, CEO Carlos Alperin told Variety that he was meeting with the film’s producers at the market to talk about the future of “Gateway.”

Spacey also has a role in the thriller “Peter Five Eight,” which is being sold by VMI Worldwide in the United States. In May, the company put out a trailer for the movie.

Shortly after Spacey was charged, the people who made “Peter Five Eight” stood up for him.

Producers said in a statement, “There are some people who wish he wouldn’t act, but they are outnumbered by fans all over the world who can’t wait for an artist they’ve liked for decades to return to the screen.” “The production doesn’t know anything about the rumors or have anything to say about them. They think it’s up to the courts to decide if any of the rumors are true. “Peter Five Eight” is a movie for people who like art more than scandals.

The U.K.’s Crown Prosecution Service announced that Spacey would be charged after spending more than a year looking over a file from the Metropolitan Police.

At least some of the accusations are thought to come from Spacey’s time as artistic director at the Old Vic theatre in London from 2004 to 2015. After the actor was accused of sexual assault over and over again in the U.S., the theatre started an internal investigation. According to the BBC, 20 victims came forward and said he had acted inappropriately toward them.

Spacey isn’t the only troubled actor who has been in projects for the Cannes market. Johnny Depp is in “Jeanne Du Barry,” and James Franco is in “Mace.” Alec Baldwin’s new project is called “False Awakening,” and Roman Polanski’s new movie is called “The Palace.” According to Variety, the director of “The Pianist” has had trouble getting support for “The Palace” in France.