Kevin Spacey Backs Out of Joining Relativity Studios as Chairman

His Trigger Street partner Dana Brunetti will stay on and could run the film unit with Relativity founder Ryan Kavanaugh if it emerges from bankruptcy

Kevin Spacey will not become the chairman of Relativity Studios, according to court papers obtained by TheWrap on Sunday.

“It is with much thought and consideration and after many discussions with those I trust most that I have decided not to go through with accepting the role of Chairman at Relativity Studios,” Spacey wrote in a statement dated March 3, which was included in the legal documents.

“[A]s Relativity emerges from bankruptcy and now that I have a much deeper understanding of the specifics of the amount of work that will be needed to shepherd the company through this transition I have concluded it is work that I neither have the time nor the wherewithal to take on.”

Spacey and his Trigger Street Productions partner Dana Brunetti were both named as creative leaders for Relativity Studios in January.

Brunetti is expected to stay on and run the film unit with CEO and chairman Ryan Kavanaugh. The initial plan was for Spacey and Brunetti to take the reins in mid-February and build a film slate from the ashes of bankruptcy.

“I believe that the company has tremendous potential, and I welcome the challenge to take the studio to the next level,” Brunetti said in a declaration in the court papers. “As soon as Relativity emerges from chapter 11, we will immediately begin ramping up our development slate and rounding out the production team.”

It’s unclear whether Spacey ever really got going in the role because Kavanaugh’s cash-strapped company has not generated much content or production. Relativity filed for bankruptcy in July and has been embroiled in a contentious bankruptcy battle with many high-profile creditors.

Because of that, Hollywood was stunned when Kavanaugh announced that Spacey and Brunetti would be taking over the studio.

U.S. Bankruptcy judge Michael Wiles must have been impressed, too, because he approved a plan of reorganization for Relativity Media conditional on last-minute documentation on new financing and the studio’s Trigger Street deal with Spacey and Brunetti.

Hearings are ongoing, but how much of a studio currently exists isn’t clear, since Relativity hasn’t released a film this year. “The Disappointments Room” is scheduled for a March 25 rollout and is one of eight films still on the studio’s slate, but there has been a noticeable dearth of marketing on the Kate Beckinsale horror film, calling its release into question.

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