In a stunning move, director Ridley Scott and the producers of Sony’s All the Money in the World have decided to cut Kevin Spacey from the film altogether and reshoot his scenes with Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty, the Tracking Board has confirmed.
Sony and the filmmakers were in a tough position, as hundreds if not thousands of people worked on All the Money in the World before news of the Kevin Spacey scandal broke, and it would unfair to see their work shunned by the public because of one supporting actor.
Sony had already decided to pull the movie from AFI Fest, but the studio still insisted, at Scott’s behest, that the film open as planned on Dec. 22. That decision never made sense to me. If the studio was pulling it from AFI Fest, they should just pull the film from the Christmas corridor and release it in 2018, no? However, Sony and Scott seem to have found a solution that salvages both the film and its release date.
All the Money in the World stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg have agreed to cooperate with the reshoots, which will commence immediately according to a report from Deadline, which broke the news. It’s unclear how much the reshoots will cost, but they’re probably worth it when you think about how much money this film would’ve lost when it hit the marketplace with Spacey still involved.
While the film is scheduled to open in just six weeks, Scott can still work pretty fast at the age of 79, so he should be able to turn it around in time. And besides, Spacey shot a total of just eight days on the film and is alone in several scenes, so it’s not like the entire movie has to be reshot. Scott actually had to reshoot several scenes in Gladiator after Oliver Reed died, but those circumstances were obviously very different, and the film had yet to be finished.
Meanwhile, only an A-list director with Scott’s power could convince a studio and the film’s financiers to sink more money into this endeavor. A move to 2018 might not have helped, since Danny Boyle’s FX series Trust will be released in January, and it covers the same subject matter — the kidnapping of Getty’s grandson, J. Paul Getty III.
Interestingly enough, Plummer was reportedly the first choice for the role, but Spacey was cast because the studio wanted a bigger name. Now, Getty and his grandson will both be played by Plummers, as Charlie Plummer plays the film’s young lead, though the two actors aren’t related. Plummer is actually a better physical fit for Getty than Spacey was, as the oil tycoon was 81 years old at the time of his grandson’s kidnapping in 1973. Plummer is 87, while Spacey is 58. Plummer’s contemporary, 82-year-old Donald Sutherland, plays the elder Getty in Trust.
Plummer recently appeared in Sony’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake, and he also voices King Herod in the studio’s upcoming animated film The Star. He’s represented by ICM Partners and manager Lou Pitt, who must’ve had to work quickly to close a deal.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief