Kevin Spacey continues to do things his own way. After all, this is an actor who shortly after winning his second Oscar ran off to England to become Artistic Director of the Old Vic rather than cashing in the way many other actors have. This is also the actor who launched an acclaimed TV series, House Of Cards on Netflix as a binge-watching experiment and wound up at the Emmys in only his first season. And today Spacey is taking his career into his own hands again with the unusual distribution plan for his latest film, Now: In The Wings On A World Stage . a documentary which recounts the ten-month world tour in which he played Richard III. Although this terrific docu is going to play theatrically (where it can also presumably qualify for Oscar consideration), it will also be available for a download purchase at KevinSpacey.com (and Nowthemovie.com which is essentially the same thing). This is a brave new world for film distribution, but so far very few big names have done it. Louis CK sells his comedy specials this way at his own website, and even Tomorrow Night, an early film he directed and starred in that had never gotten a formal release. Spacey told me he actually called Louis CK for advice on this platform and learned it can be a very profitable deal (Louis CK has reportedly grossed up to $50,000 a day with some), and a better way to get more specialized projects seen in greater numbers than might otherwise be the case.
Two-Time Oscar Winner Kevin Spacey Jumps Bravely Into Self-Distribution With Today’s Unique Release Of His Latest Film
Kevin Spacey Continues His Disruptive Platform-Shifting Experiments By Self-Releasing ‘Now: In The Wings On A World Stage’: Q&A
When most leading men get preoccupied with messing with models, it usually means extracurricular activity. When it’s Kevin Spacey, it means taking bold risks to create disruptive opportunities to alter arcane platforms that have ranged from his own acting career to pioneering the first breakout multi-platform success in the J.C. Chandor-directed Margin Call and the first breakout Netflix series hit House Of Cards. Now, he has made an intriguing documentary, Now: In The Wings On A World Stage, and will test new waters by self-distributing the film.
Here’s the first trailer that was just unveiled for the docu, which he is releasing in limited theatres and simultaneously via download here on KevinSpacey.com.
Spacey, in the midst of a strong run in Hollywood and two Oscars, started this journey of self discovery back in 2003 when he left Hollywood to revive the Old Vic in London. That has limited his screen time, but Trigger Street, the company he runs with Dana Brunetti, has kept him enough in the mix with Best Picture nominee Captain Phillips, The Social Network, 21 and other films. Spacey has kept up the Old Vic’s storied traditions, starring in and producing plays year after year. Now, after quietly funding and producing and starring in Now, a documentary about the conception and the experience of performing Richard III across the world, Spacey is self-releasing a film he feels captures the exhilaration of live performances that reunited Spacey with Sam Mendes since both won Oscars in Mendes’ screen debut American Beauty. His Now passion project and its trailer debut offers a a great chance to catch up with an actor who, after winning Oscars and asserting himself as a bankable leading man, up and left town for a venture many felt was folly. But this film’s most compelling selling point also underscores that Spacey knew what he was doing. If the millions and millions of rabid House Of Cards binge viewers want to see where his Vice President Francis Underwood character came from, it turns out they can find it right in this movie.
DEADLINE: I caught bronchitis this week and the only plus was tearing through the first season and one half of House Of Cards. Just a remarkable, game-changing way to absorb great drama.
SPACEY: I can’t say that I’m much of a binge watcher myself. People stop me on the street and tell me they are treating House Of Cards like a good novel, where they decide when to put it down on the bedside table, and when to pick it up again. What I love about that mind-set is that it puts the audience in complete control.