In an ambitious attempt to save the upcoming All the Money in the World from getting mired in the recent and continuously evolving scandals involving Kevin Spacey, director Ridley Scott is cutting Spacey out of the movie entirely, replacing him with Christopher Plummer via editing and reshoots.
That’s no small feat, for a few reasons. First of all, Spacey plays a key role in the film, and second, it’s set to come out in just a few weeks, on Dec. 22. That’s an insanely tight turnaround time, and it’s going to require changes to promotional materials, crediting, and most of all, a few key moments in the film itself.
Spacey’s all over the trailer, after all:
(I didn’t include the official Sony trailer for fear of it being taken down and replaced by a Spacey-less version.)
Deadline had the original report, and they went into detail as to how this is all going to work:
EXCLUSIVE: In an unprecedented bold move, director Ridley Scott, along with Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas have decided to remove Kevin Spacey from their finished movie All The Money In The World. Christopher Plummer has been set to replace Spacey in the role of J Paul Getty. Re-shoots of the key scenes are expected to commence immediately. Scott is also determined to to keep the film’s December 22 release date.
In a unified front, the cast and crew of the film, and Sony Pictures, unanimously agreed to re-shoot all of Spacey’s scenes, with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams’ cooperation part of the mix.
This comes on the heels of the decision to pull the film from the prestige closing night slot of the AFI Festival. That move resulted after a weekend of back and forth, with Scott and Friedkin in particular incensed that the sordid allegations against Spacey might doom a film that Scott dropped everything to direct, and on which so many people worked hard and did not deserve to see the results hobbled in the marketplace because of the taint of scandal.
So they took control of the narrative. Scott is a maverick, and didn’t shrink under the pressure to re-stage the key scenes involving J Paul Getty, the oilman who refused to pay a ransom after his grandson, John Paul Getty III was kidnapped.