Kevin Spacey has won two Academy Awards. He’s written and directed his own films, stepped in as the artistic director for the historic Old Vic theater, and recently accepted a position as the head of Relativity Studios. He’s trod the Shakespearean boards as Richard II, and he’s been appointed as an Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. He has, by anyone’s measure, lived a lot of life.
For his next onscreen role, in the film Nine Lives, Spacey will portray a talking cat.
In the sort of premise that sounds like a joke that didn’t make it past the first edits on the Funny People script, Spacey will play Tom Brand, a high-power executive who is transmogrified into a talking kitty cat so that he may re-learn the importance of family. Tom cares about nothing beyond his company’s bottom line, but vaguely magical man Christopher Walken (who, for all we know, could be playing himself) knows that the secret to righting his moral compass can only be achieved by temporarily turning him into a cat.
The newly released Nine Lives trailer reads as so broad and aggressively generic that it feels more like a parody of this particular sort of family-friendly comedy. This particular sort of story — magical thing happens to immoral guy, antics occur, he learns about the power of love — started with A Christmas Story and has been done approximately ten thousand times over since then, usually to diminishing returns. Jim Carrey learned to appreciate his family and ease up on work in Liar Liar. Eddie Murphy learned to appreciate his family and ease up on work in A Thousand Words. On Aug. 5, it’s Kevin Spacey’s turn.