US trades have been reporting for some weeks that Spacey had become concerned over the amount of work needed to re-establish the US studio after emerging from its financial woes, and this was confirmed yesterday.
“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 said in a court declaration first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.
“I can think of very few things more exciting to an actor than being given the opportunity to work with fellow actors, writers and directors with the ability to bring their creative works to light. That was, and still is, a very powerful idea for me.
“However, as 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’s business partner, Dana Brunetti, will still join Ryan Kavanaugh as president of the studio division of Relativity Media when it emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
US courts had seen Spacey and Brunetti joining Relativity, with the latter buying the pair’s Trigger Street Productions in the process, as a sign its was getting its house in order.
Brunetti will oversee the greenlighting process with Relativity CEO Kavanaugh, with the pair also part of a ‘creative advisory board’ along with hedge fund manager Joe Nicholas, who has invested heavily in the studio after it ended up in about US$500 million debt.
Commentators had questioned Spacey’s ability to run Relativity Studios while appearing in another 13-episode season of Netflix flagship drama House of Cards.
A bankruptcy judge will review the latest role change plans later this month, according to THR.