Northern Irish actor Ray Stevenson will play the role of Papal Legate Cesareani, one of the main characters in the Hungarian-Mongolian-English coproduction.
Ray Stevenson, who starred in “RRR” and the MCU Thor films, has been cast as the antagonist of Gateway to the West, which is currently filming in Budapest. The role was originally given to Kevin Spacey, but when the announcement was followed by public outcry over allegations of sexual harassment against the actor, the producers removed him from the project last year.
Stevenson recently starred as the main villain in SS Rajamouli’s Oscar-nominated surprise movie “RRR”, but his credits include Volstagg in the Thor franchise and the TV series, Vikings. The actor joins notable actors like Eric Roberts (“Runaway Train”), Michael Ironside (“Top Gun”), Neil Stuke (“Woman Twice”), David Schofield (“Gladiator”), Jeremy Neumark-Jones (“Denial”) and Genevieve Florence (“Avenue 5”) in the upcoming film.
The historical action-drama follows the deeply spiritual man (Neumark-Jones) of Esztergom Castle, who must confront a large Mongolian army led by Genghis Khan’s grandson Batu Khan (Mongol actor Bold Choimbol) and prevent him from invading Europe. Stevenson will play the role of Papal Legate Cesareani, a secret Mongol ally who plays a key role as mediator.
As previously reported, the British-Hungarian-Mongolian-Australian co-production will be directed by Péter Soós from a script by Áron Horváth and Joan Lane. The producers are Bill Chamberlain and Kornél Sipos. Carlos Alperin, Paul Brett, Tim Smith and Csaba Iski are executive producers. The music is composed by Mike Moren, who co-wrote Barcelona with Queen singer Freddie Mercury.
Producer Bill Chamberlain said: “What an incredible honor it is to welcome Ray Stevenson, a world-renowned actor of impressive versatility and undeniable charisma.”
Producer Kornél Sipos added: “Ray is the ideal leading man for Gateway to the West. His captivating performances in films such as “RRR” prove it beyond doubt! We are honored to have him join us – together we will create something truly remarkable.”