Top 15 Upcoming Movie and TV Projects Tainted by Sexual Misconduct Allegations
2017 has certainly been an interesting year. Donald Trump was sworn in as President of the United States and proceeded to try to ban Muslims from America, build a wall along the Mexican border, keep trans people out of the military, and get a pedophile elected into Senate. Every single day brought the world closer and closer to a global nuclear war with North Korea. ISIS carried out multiple bombing and shooting attacks across Europe. Las Vegas saw the worst mass shooting in American history. Tom Petty, Mary Tyler Moore, Chuck Berry, Don Rickles, Roger Moore, Adam West, Jake LaMotta, David Cassidy, and Jim Nabors all died. And not only that, the second half of the year has seen literally hundreds of men and women coming forward with harrowing stories of sexual misconduct, assault, harassment, and even in some cases rape at the hands of Hollywood’s most powerful players, bringing the film industry to its knees and exposing a very serious problem within the business. These silence breakers became Time magazine’s Person of the Year. All of these actors, filmmakers, and producers – Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. – have all been shut out of the industry and had their upcoming film and TV projects cancelled in the middle of production or shelved by their distributors. While this is the right thing to do, it also means that a lot of great movies starring other actors who did nothing wrong will now never see the light of day. So, here are the 15 upcoming movie and TV projects that have been tainted by sexual misconduct allegations that we’re most disappointed about.
15. The Current War
This movie has been tainted in that it’s the movie that Harvey Weinstein was editing when the allegations against him came out in The New York Times. He came out of the editing room to find reporters hounding him with questions and told them, “I’ve not been aware of this. I don’t know what you’re talking about, honestly.” Yeah, right, Harvey. The Current War is the story of the battle between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse that ultimately decided which scientist’s electrical system would be the one to power the modern world. It’s a rich and exciting historical story, and stars some great actors, like Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Tom Holland, and Katherine Waterston. It was going to be The Weinstein Company’s big Oscars push for this year. Sadly, the movie will be forever tainted by Harvey Weinstein’s terrible, deplorable actions.
14. Transparent season 5
Transparent was an important show when it first premiered. It was an early original series to come out of Amazon Prime, and it starred Jeffrey Tambor as a family patriarch who comes out as transgender. However, in today’s climate, as more and more transgender actors are being given roles and a voice in the entertainment industry, a cisgender actor being cast in a trans role is frowned upon. But that’s not the biggest worry in Transparent anymore, since Tambor was accused of sexual harassment by his co-stars and left the show. He denied the claims, but said, “Given the politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set, I don’t see how I can return to Transparent.” The Transparent producers have said that “the inappropriate situations [that the women who Tambor harassed] endured on set will be remedied,” and noted that they were looking for a way to write him out of the show in anticipation of the upcoming fifth season, saying that “future seasons will focus on more of the many brilliant characters that audiences love and care about.”
13. Untitled Elvis biopic
Apple is the latest company to try to break into the streaming game and bring out some original content. Netflix and Amazon were the trailblazers, and ever since, Hulu, Disney, CBS, and just about every other company on the planet has been releasing its own subscription based streaming service and throwing a ton of money at as many original series and movies as they can get their hands on. One of the projects that Apple had been working on was a biopic of Elvis Presley that would have been a miniseries telling the story of the King of Rock’s life. It was being developed and produced in conjunction with The Weinstein Company, so they ditched the whole thing as soon as Harvey Weinstein’s accusers came forward with their stories. The series was rumoured to be the first season of an anthology series where each season would tell the life story of a legendary musician. Shame.
12. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock
Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was going to be the directorial debut feature film of beloved actor Channing Tatum. The movie would have been adapted from a young adult novel about a teenager who turns to violence after being sexually assaulted. Tatum had been developing the movie with Harvey Weinstein before dozens of women accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, misconduct, abuse, assault, and rape. So, with a sour taste left from the development meetings with Weinstein paired with the sexual abuse theme of the film, Tatum has decided to cancel the movie indefinitely. Hopefully we will see him put something together and direct it himself, because he is a talented guy. You’ll still be able to hear his voice in the animated movie Smallfoot this year, which is free of Harvey Weinstein’s fingerprints.
11. The Secret Life of Pets 2
The Secret Life of Pets was a huge success back in 2016. After costing Illumination Entertainment a total amount of $75 million to produce, it made back a box office gross of $875 million, so of course, a sequel was on the cards. It was a take on an overly familiar premise – talking pets going on an adventure – that actually seemed fresh and entertaining and fun. The first movie starred a really great cast who will mostly be returning for the sequel: Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Steve Coogan, and Albert Brooks – all great actors. But unfortunately, the leading star of the movie was Louis C.K., so Illumination executives have decided to fire him from the sequel. Exactly how they’ll work around this remains to be seen. Will they rewrite the script to not include C.K.’s character Max? Will they get someone who kind of sounds like Louis C.K. to play Max? Either way, the movie is tainted.
10. All the Money in the World
Sir Ridley Scott did the impossible with his true crime movie All the Money in the World. It had been totally completed, rendered, and ready for release in a few weeks when the Kevin Spacey allegations came out and the actor became poison. But rather than do what everyone else in the same predicament was doing and shelve the project and write the whole thing off, Scott delved back into the movie, reshot all of Spacey’s scenes with Christopher Plummer in the role in his place, quickly cut it all together in the editing room, and completed the movie yet again. The pre-Oscars December release of the movie was only delayed by a couple of days – the release was originally planned for December 22, but now, it’ll be released on December 25. As if it wasn’t clear enough already, Ridley Scott has solidified his image as a god. And the Getty kidnapping movie hasn’t even suffered from these delays – in fact, Plummer is what people are loving about it. The critics are calling it “an absorbing portrayal of a true story, brought compellingly to life by a powerful performance from Christopher Plummer.”
9. Mark Halperin’s HBO movie about the 2016 Presidential election
In 2016, the Presidential election race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump gripped the media and the public for months. It was neck and neck, and new information kept coming out. The Clinton email leaks, the Trump sexual assault allegations – the election kept swaying left and right, and in the end, the impossible happened. A star of reality television with no political background took the office of President of the United States. Author Mark Halperin, whose political books have been adapted by HBO before, was writing another book about the 2016 election that the premium cable network was going to turn into a movie. However, after allegations of sexual harassment and “conduct that was often aggressive and crude” were made against Halperin, he was ditched by Penguin Press, NBC News, and yes, HBO.
8. Brett Ratner’s Hugh Hefner biopic
No one was really saddened to see Brett Ratner go. Aside from being a sexual deviant and generally an unkind person, he was also a terrible filmmaker. So, the fact that he’s gone from the film industry is undoubtedly a good thing. But he almost didn’t get the boot. Gal Gadot had to threaten to leave Wonder Woman 2 before Ratner was cut from the Warner Bros. payroll. Before the allegations came out, Ratner was developing and planning to direct a biopic of the Playboy boss Hugh Hefner, who died recently, in which Jared Leto would have played Hef. However, in light of the allegations against him, Ratner’s Hef pic has been indefinitely shelved, while Warner Bros. have ended their development deal with Ratner and his production company, RatPac. Don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out of Hollywood, Brett.
7. The Cops
Comedy nerds went crazy when legendary comics Louis C.K. and Albert Brooks teamed up for an animated series on TBS in which they would be playing a pair of police officers working the beat. It was a really exciting prospect, and now, we’ll never get to see it. After finding out what C.K. has been up to all these years, we don’t really want to, either. But what’s worse is that the creative team behind the now-dropped show are out of a job, and they didn’t do anything wrong. Reports say that TBS had to lay off more than a hundred people from the show. The art director Francis Giglio took to social media to say, “We now find ourselves out of a job right before the holidays.” Actress Jen Richards is also disappointed by the show’s cancellation. She is behind C.K.’s accusers, but also said, “I know this isn’t about me, but I was really excited to voice a cartoon character. To have a badass, openly trans character on network TV would have been awesome.”
Netflix had been making a biopic of the great writer Gore Vidal starring Kevin Spacey in the lead role before Anthony Rapp and many others came forward with accusations that Spacey had sexually assaulted or harassed them. Spacey caused an uproar with his statement in response to these accusations, which denied nothing and instead called it “drunken behavior.” He also used this statement to finally come out as gay, which many people saw as a way of trying to distract from the real issue, as well as perpetuating negative gay stereotypes. It’s a shame, because the movie probably would have been great, and the supporting cast is strong (and they didn’t sexually assault anybody, as far as we know). Spacey’s co-star Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays Vidal’s lover in the movie, said, “When you work hard on something, you want people to see it. I think there’s a desire for us to maybe have that happen.” So, we could see it sometime in the future, maybe.
5. Louie season 6
Until a couple of months ago, Louis C.K.’s fans had spent years holding out hope that he would return to do a sixth season of his show Louie. As an inconsistent, weird, beautifully arthouse, absurdly hilarious series of vignettes, Louie was the greatest and most groundbreaking TV sitcom starring a standup comic as themselves since Seinfeld. C.K. blessed the airwaves of FX with five brilliant seasons of the show before going on what was termed “extended hiatus,” with FX leaving the door open if he ever wanted to come back and do a season 6 of the show. However, after C.K. was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by five women and then he admitted that it was true, they slammed that door shut faster than you could say “misconduct.”
4. Quentin Tarantino’s Manson murders movie
Quentin Tarantino making a movie about the Manson murders and he’s building up a pretty amazing cast to feature in it. He’s been talking to Margot Robbie, who’s in talks to play the role of Sharon Tate, Brad Pitt, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and Tom Cruise. Imagine all of them in a movie together – it would be incredible! This will be the first ever Tarantino movie to be based on true events, and the ninth in his running tally of directorial movies (he plans to stop after ten). It’s certainly very exciting, but it’s been tainted by the fact that it was developed in its early stages by Tarantino’s long-time collaborator Harvey Weinstein. While Tarantino has taken the project out of Weinstein’s hands and instead given it to Sony Pictures, he has admitted that he knew about Weinstein’s actions the whole time and did nothing because Weinstein was letting him make whatever movies he wanted to make, so that sort of ruins the whole thing.
3. House of Cards season 6
House of Cards was the first ever original series on Netflix. It’s a dark drama about the inner workings of Washington, and critics have ranked it alongside the likes of Breaking Bad and The Sopranos. Unfortunately, it stars Kevin Spacey in the lead role, so there’s no getting around it – you can’t watch it anymore. Following the Spacey allegations scandal, Netflix cancelled the series, leaving them with just one more season to wrap things up. So far, there’s been five seasons of 13 episodes each, but season 6, the upcoming final season, will have just eight. Also, Spacey has been totally cut from the production and Robin Wright will be taking over starring duties for the home stretch. Social media users are reading for Wright to lead the show, with tweets posted saying the likes of, “It’s time for Robin Wright to be President,” “House of Cards season 6 should just start with Robin Wright saying: ‘Francis is dead. Anyway, moving on…’” and “FIRE KEVIN SPACEY AND LET ROBIN WRIGHT BE THE LEAD OF HOUSE OF CARDS LIKE SHE HAS DESERVED FOR SEVERAL SEASONS NOW.” It’s good that Kevin Spacey has been fired from being pretend President for committing sexual assault, but why hasn’t Donald Trump been fired from being the real President for the same thing?
2. David O. Russell’s Amazon Prime series
David O. Russell is a fiercely talented director. He did the movies Three Kings, Silver Linings Playbook, I Heart Huckabees, and a bunch of others that were all great. He’s a diverse and multitalented storyteller who could really do some terrific things in the world of serialized television in this “Golden Age” we are supposedly in with the format. He had an untitled drama series in the works at Amazon Studios to be released through their Prime streaming service that would have starred the amazing A-list actors Robert De Niro and Julianne Moore. But the show was being produced by The Weinstein Company, so Amazon dropped it from their schedule almost immediately. Rest in peace, untitled David O. Russell project. Russell, De Niro, and Moore aren’t salty about it. A joint statement from a spokesperson for all three of them said, “We support Amazon’s decision, as in light of recent news and out of respect for all those affected, we have decided together that it is best to not move forward with this show.”
1. I Love You, Daddy
Louis C.K. directed, wrote, and starred in this dark, black and white comedy movie over this past summer in secret. There were no announcements made. The movie just came out of the blue and got picked up by the distributor, The Orchard. It was set for a theatrical release in early 2018. But then five women came forward to accuse the legendary comic of sexual misconduct, and then he admitted that the accusations were all true, and then everything went downhill. The Orchard dropped the movie from release, while C.K. bought the distribution rights back off them and was ostracized from the entertainment industry. He might release the movie through his website, but we’ll never be able to enjoy it, especially given what the subject matter is. C.K. plays a successful filmmaker who idolizes a Woody Allen type director played by John Malkovich who is swamped in allegations of sexual misconduct, and then worries when his teenage daughter played by Chloë Grace Moretz takes a liking to him. The hypocrisy, creepiness, and art-imitating-life-ness will make this unwatchable, whether it ever gets released to the public or not.