Kevin Spacey's Rocky Road Back to the Big Screen

News that Kevin Spacey has been cast in the upcoming film L'uomo che disegnò Dio (The Man Who Drew God) has caused a stir in recent days—not least because of his dramatic fall from grace amid sexual assault allegations.

The Italian project will see the two-time Oscar winner, 61, portray a detective with a connection to Emanuele (Franco Nero), a blind man gifted with the ability to draw portraits of people by hearing their voices.

Spacey's casting in the 1950s-set film has sparked questions as to whether it is appropriate to welcome the actor back to the big screen, less than four years after the first of at least 16 men came forward with allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault or attempted rape against him.

With Spacey having once been considered one of Hollywood's most successful actors—he was riding the success of his Netflix show House of Cards until 2017—here's a look at the star's fall and rocky road back to employment.

2017

In October, Buzzfeed publishes an explosive interview with Anthony Rapp, who accuses Spacey of "trying to seduce" him at a party in 1986 when he was aged 14 and the actor was 26.

The following day, Spacey releases a statement on Twitter, in which he claims to have no memory of the alleged incident, while also offering Rapp an apology.

Having previously been private about his sexual orientation, the actor publicly comes out as gay in his response to the allegations.

pic.twitter.com/X6ybi5atr5

— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) October 30, 2017

His statement reads: "I have a lot of respect and admiration for Anthony Rapp as an actor. I'm beyond horrified to hear his story. I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago.

"But if I did behave as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years.

"This story has encouraged me to address other things about my life. I know that there are stories out there about me and that some have been fueled by the fact that I have been so protective of my privacy.

"As those closest to me know, in my life I have had relationships with both men and women.

"I have loved and had romantic encounters with men throughout my life, and I choose now to live as a gay man. I want to deal with this honestly and openly and that starts with examining my own behavior."

As more men come forward with similar allegations in the days that follow, Netflix announces plans to suspend production of House of Cards, "to give us time to review the current situation and to address any concerns of our cast and crew."

The actor announces, through his publicist, that he is "is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment."

He is soon dropped by his publicist and agent, and from the cast of House of Cards. Netflix announces in November that it will no longer release Gore, a film about writer Gore Vidal, starring Spacey as the literary icon.

By November, Spacey is removed from the film All the Money in the World, which has been already shot, and is replaced by Christopher Plummer.

2018

In January, police in London announce investigations into three accusations leveled against the actor in the U.K.

In April, it is confirmed that prosecutors in Los Angeles are reviewing an historical assault accusation against Spacey, which is alleged to have taken place in West Hollywood in 1992.

By September, these charges are dropped in one case due to California's statute of limitations.

In December, he is charged with sexually assaulting a teenager at a bar in Massachusetts in 2016.

Let Me Be Frank https://t.co/OzVGsX6Xbz

— Kevin Spacey (@KevinSpacey) December 24, 2018

On Christmas Eve, the star releases a YouTube video entitled "Let Me Be Frank," in which he channels his House of Cards character Frank Underwood, while seemingly addressing the allegations.

He says: "But you wouldn't believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn't rush to judgments without facts, would you? Did you?"

2019

In January, the actor appears in a Massachusetts court to enter a not-guilty plea, in response to indecent assault and battery charges in connection to the 2016 allegations.

The same accuser sues Spacey for unspecified damages in June, alleging the star bought him alcoholic drinks when he was 18 and groped his genitals without consent.

One month later, the complainant drops his civil action against Spacey, who denies the allegations.

Also in July, criminal charges against the actor, stemming from the same Massachusetts accusations, are dropped after the accuser declines to testify about a missing phone, which Spacey's lawyers say has information that could prove his innocence.

In August, Spacey is seen in Rome, where he puts on a spoken-word performance of Italian poet Gabriele Tinti's The Boxer, about a fighter making a comeback.

On Christmas Eve, Spacey returns with another video. Again affecting the Southern drawl of his former character Underwood, he sits before a fireplace as he says: "You didn't really think I was gonna miss the opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas, did you?"

He continues: "It's been a pretty good year, and I'm grateful to have my health back. And in light of that, I've made some changes in my life and I'd like to invite you to join me.

"As we walk into 2020, I want to cast my vote for more good in this world. Ah yes, I know what you're thinking. Can he be serious? I'm dead serious."

2020

In September, Rapp sues Spacey for sexual assault, sexual battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Rapp files his suit under the Child Victims Act, which extends New York's statute of limitations for civil suits related to such cases. childhood sex abuse

He is joined in the lawsuit by another man, who requests to remain anonymous and accuses the actor of sexually abusing him in 1983 when he was aged 14 and Spacey was 24.

In December, Spacey returns with another video posted to YouTube, in which he says: "That's right. What would Christmas Eve be without a message from me?"

2021

It is announced in May that Spacey has landed a role as a detective in the Italian film L'uomo che disegnò Dio (The Man Who Drew God).

Defending his casting decision, producer Louis Nero tells Entertainment Weekly: "In Italy, we don't know details on everything, so we don't speak about what we don't know about.

"I cannot speak about these things. I only know that Kevin is a great actor. That was my concern, and no more than that."

Shortly after Spacey's participation in the film is announced, Vanessa Redgrave, the wife of director Franco Nero (not relation to Louis) denies reports that say she has a part in the movie.

A representative for the Oscar-winning actress says in a statement: "Vanessa Redgrave's name is being included in recent stories relating to the casting of the upcoming film, The Man Who Drew God.

"While there have been discussions about the possibility of her joining the cast, she will not appear in the film."

Actor Kevin Spacey
Actor Kevin Spacey attends the reading of the event "The Boxer—La nostalgia del poeta" (The Boxer - The nostalgia of the poet) at Palazzo Massimo alle Terme on August 02, 2019 in Rome, Italy. The actor has recently been cast in an upcoming Italian film. Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images