Kevin Spacey is no longer involved with a film about the life of Genghis Khan after the actor on Thursday pleaded not guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault in the U.K.
Spacey, an Oscar winner for “The Usual Suspects” and “American Beauty,” was meant to star in “1242: Gateway to the West,” a historical drama that was being shopped at the Cannes market this summer with him attached. However, the film’s producer Bill Chamberlain told Variety on Thursday that in the wake of Spacey facing the new assault charges, the film’s lead has been replaced and that negotiations with the new actor are underway and will be revealed soon.
Péter Soós is directing the film that follows a Hungarian holy man who tried to stop Genghis Khan from invading a castle on his way toward invading the rest of Europe. The film also stars Eric Roberts and Christopher Lambert and was meant to kick off production in October.
“1242” is one of two Spacey projects that was shopped at the Cannes market, the other being “Peter Five Eight,” a modern day thriller that is already completed and stars Rebecca De Mornay.
Spacey on Thursday pleaded not guilty on five counts of sexual assault, appearing in London’s Central Criminal Court connected to charges brought based on accounts from three separate men between the years 2005 and 2013. The trial is set for June 6, 2023, and is expected to last three to four weeks.
Variety first reported the news.