Kevin Spacey Feature ‘Control’ Eyeing Theatrical Release in December (Exclusive)

Kevin Spacey Feature ‘Control’ Eyeing Theatrical Release in December (Exclusive)

Kevin Spacey could be returning to cinemas sooner than expected.

Control, the U.K. indie thriller which cast the two-time Oscar winner in a voice role in late 2022 as he awaited his London criminal trial over multiple counts of sexual assault — a trial that ended on July 26. with him cleared of all nine charges — is aiming for a theatrical domestic release before the end of the year, according to its sales agent.

“We would like to have the film in cinemas in December,” explains Strath Hamilton, co-CEO of TriCoast Worldwide, which is repping the film, adding that he’s now having “serious conversations” with buyers in the U.S. and U.K.

Related Stories

Written and directed by Gene Fallaize, Control follows follows the British home secretary (Lauren Metcalfe) as she drives home one night while engaging in a secret love affair with the prime minister (Mark Hampton). Meanwhile, another man — played by Spacey — knows her secret and has been badly affected by it and seeks revenge, plotting to remotely hijack her fully self-driving car and forcing her on a rampage through the streets of London using the car she’s trapped in as a deadly weapon.

Despite Spacey’s legal concerns when it was first announced, Hamilton said Control had already attracted positive interest from buyers in territories where “social media matters and culture wars are not top of the agenda,” and in the months ahead of the trial sold the film to Germany, the Middle East, Latin America, CIS and Korea, without disclosing the distributors. However, even before the verdict was announced, he says that TriCoast was “very well prepped for the obviously possibility that these false charges would be proved not to be true, and had a lot of buyers ready in the U.S. and U.K.”

While he says he’s now “obviously” looking to find the best domestic partner for the film, Hamilton notes that TriCoast can — and will, if necessary — release it itself via its distribution arm TriCoast Entertainment.

“It’s a great movie — a very good script and well directed. Kevin’s Spacey’s performance is amazing.”

For Hamilton — who directed the pilot episode of Saban’s children’s juggernaught Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and is an Emmy and DGA-nominated filmmaker — supporting Control is part of an “obligation” he feels that the industry should have to support artists who have been accused and cancelled via social media.

“You have to make a stand somewhere,” he says. “I don’t know how to support the artists in the SAG strike, but this is a way I found I could support these artists.”

Speaking just hours after the not-guilty verdict was called at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Control director Fallaize admitted that hiring Spacey “wasn’t an easy decision,” but said it was one he stood by and, following the trial result, had “proven itself.”

Despite the verdict, Spacey faces an uncertain future as doubts remain as to whether he could return to the heights of his career before allegations first surfaced in 2017, with Control marking just one of a very small handful of projects he’s been cast in. He also has the comedy thriller Peter Five Eight, having earlier this year been picked up for multiple territories by SPI International, which operates 62 TV channels and digital platforms across six continents, including Filmbox+, with a U.S. release slated for August.