Armie Hammer has been dropped from another film, in the wake of sexual assault allegations and continuous online chatter that has been spiraling across social media since the beginning of the year.
Hammer is no longer attached to the thriller “Billion Dollar Spy,” Variety has learned exclusively. Hammer was set to star opposite Mads Mikkelsen in the Cold War drama that comes from filmmaker Amma Asante.
Representatives for Asante and Walden Media, the film company behind the movie, declined to comment any further.
“Billion Dollar Spy” was the one last remaining film on Hammer’s slate, meaning every studio that was in business with Hammer, prior to the allegations, has now officially cut ties with the actor.
The only outstanding movie on Hammer’s radar would have been the potential “Call Me By Your Name” sequel, which has garnered much hopeful excitement from fans, but was never actually put into active development and remains without a script. While the actors and filmmaker have discussed their desire for a sequel in many media interviews, the film had never been given the greenlight — and now, with the Hammer controversy, any plans are even more up in the air. (Director Luca Guadagnino was not available for comment, as he is currently in pre-production on another film.)
Hammer’s career has been in freefall ever since accusations by multiple women began to surface on social media earlier this year. Since then, a former partner of Hammer’s has come forward with a rape allegation from 2017, which led to a probe by the LAPD. The sexual assault investigation is currently active with Hammer as the lead suspect.
Hammer, via his attorney, denied the rape allegation, calling the claim “outrageous.” The actor has maintained that any interaction with any sexual partner has been consensual.
Prior to the rape allegation and LAPD investigation, Hammer was dropped by WME, in the midst of allegations spreading like wildfire across social media. Before the agency cut ties with the actor, he had been fired from two high-profile projects: the romantic comedy “Shotgun Wedding,” in which he was originally cast opposite Jennifer Lopez, and Paramount’s “The Offer,” a series about the making of “The Godfather.”
Hammer’s only statement on the matter came when he departed “Shotgun Wedding,” calling the claims against him “bullshit.”
The allegations first surfaced in Jan. 2021 on the anonymous Instagram account, House of Effie, which began posting screenshots of alleged conversations between Hammer and other women, depicting disturbing messages, ranging from sexual fetishes of cannibalism to rape fantasies. (Hammer has not verified the authenticity of the messages.) After a few months, the woman behind the Instagram account came forward with her attorney, Gloria Allred, to publicly accuse Hammer of rape in a March press conference — her accusations are the basis for the ongoing LAPD investigation.
While the controversy had initially garnered salacious tabloid coverage specifically relating to the cannibalism messages, the women accusing Hammer have said that the actor uses his sexual proclivities as a smokescreen for emotional abuse, manipulation, coercion and assault.
Hammer’s legal team has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. His attorney told reporters that any assertions against his client are “patently untrue,” stating that any interactions with any sexual partners of his “completely consensual in that they were fully discussed, agreed upon, and mutually participatory.”
Hammer was first cast in “Billion Dollar Spy” film in late 2020, opposite Mikkelsen. He was set to play Brad Reid, a fresh arrival at the Moscow station of the CIA, who is approached by Soviet engineer Adolf Tolkachev (Mikkelsen). Ignoring the advice from his bosses that Tolkachev is an obvious KGB dangle, Reid develops a bond and unique friendship with the Russian. Reid’s faith in Tolkachev is rewarded when he hands over a treasure trove of military secrets, obtained using classic Cold War spy craft, earning Tolkachev the nickname “The Billion Dollar Spy,” and altering the balance of power between East and West.
“Billion Dollar Spy” has not gone into production yet, given sweeping complications across the industry, due to the pandemic. The film was developed and produced by Walden Media and is produced by Akiva Goldsman and Greg Lessans via Weed Road Pictures.
No word yet on the re-casting of Hammer’s role.
Hammer has a handful of projects coming up that were already filmed, prior to the scandal, including “Death on the Nile,” Disney’s A-list follow-up to “Murder on the Orient Express,” which has been delayed to Feb. 2022, due to COVID-19 theater closures. As for Hammer’s other projects that have already wrapped, it remains to be seen how studios will handle Hammer’s involvement, but it’s likely the actor will be removed, at the very least, from marketing materials of any upcoming films.
While Hammer is no longer represented by his agency or publicist, Variety reached out to the actor’s legal representatives, who did not immediately respond to request for comment regarding “Billion Dollar Spy.”