Earlier this year, acclaimed director Ridley Scott made headlines when it was announced that he’d be replacing Kevin Spacey‘s role in All The Money In The World, mere weeks out of the film’s premiere date.
It was to be at a rumoured cost of $US10 million, a fourth of the film’s $US40 million budget. They were replacing Spacey – who played the real life role of J. Paul Getty, the oil tycoon who famously refused to pay the $US17 million ransom for his grandson – with actor Christopher Plummer.
The film’s December 22 release date remained, making this move basically unheard of.
It turns out that Scott is absolutely stoked to be reshooting. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he appears delighted to be reshooting, shot-for-shot, the scenes he shot months before with Spacey.
“I move like lightning,” he said. “I’m already two scenes ahead. It’s simple! If you know what you’re doing, you don’t need 19 takes. You do one for the actor, one for me. It’s all planned out. When you storyboard, you’ve already pre-filmed the movie in your head — the wide shots, close shots, establishing shots. You’ve gotten some of your weird ideas when you’re quietly sitting, storyboarding by yourself. After a while you learn to trust and listen to your intuition. And I listen to mine. I trust it.”
He sends the footage continually to the editor, and has such an operation going that he can pretty much view the final cut after each day’s shooting.
He says he was “totally” happy with Spacey’s performance, but that “you can’t tolerate any kind of behaviour like that”, nor can you jeopardise the film (and potential Oscar noms) for everyone else who worked hard on it. “It’s that simple,” he said, adding that he and Spacey haven’t spoken since the sexual assault allegations broke.
Getting the whole thing together though sounds like a bit of a nightmare.
“You have to know who you’re going to go for [to recast the role] and if he’s available,” he said. “Chris [Plummer] was always on the list. So you find that out, but quietly, because you don’t want it going around. I flew into New York and met with [Plummer] and he said yes. So then we had to figure out if everyone else would be available to fit in these new days of shooting. Miraculously, they were. Before you can make the decision you have to make these quick phone calls around — not to the actors directly, but to the agents — saying there’s a possibility I may need some pickups [a.k.a. additional shooting days]. You don’t say why because of the gossip, but of course it was really for something much more significant.”
Michelle Williams, who plays the mother of the kidnapped son and Getty’s former daughter-in-law, said everyone was on-board to reshoot the thing.
“I’m so very proud to be a part of this — we’re all here for Ridley,” she said. “When this idea was hatched, I immediately started to feel better. This doesn’t do anything to ease the suffering of people who were all too personally affected by Kevin Spacey, but it is our little act of trying to right a wrong. And it sends a message to predators — you can’t get away with this anymore. Something will be done.”
They’ve even already put out a brand new trailer with Plummer as Getty, and holy christ on a stick, that was fast.
This film looks absolutely dope, so we’re extremely grateful to be able to now watch it duty free. Replace all past Spacey roles with Plummer, tbh.