In a shocking move, Sony Pictures is not only keeping the December release date for Ridley Scott’s awards-hopeful drama All the Money in the World, they’re cutting Kevin Spacey out of the film altogether and replacing him with another actor. As reports of Spacey’s alleged sexual harassment have continued to pile up, we learned earlier this week that Sony was considering pushing All the Money in the World—in which Spacey plays billionaire J. Paul Getty—to 2018 and thus out of the awards race. Spacey had been Sony’s big Oscar hopeful as his unrecognizable turn as the mogul was pegged for Best Supporting Actor consideration, but those prospects were dashed completely when news of Spacey’s alleged behavior began to spread.
But rather than push the film to 2018, Deadline reports that Sony is cutting Spacey out of the movie, reshooting his scenes with Oscar winner Christopher Plummer, and keeping the film’s December release date. This is, I think, unprecedented, and further indication of just how seriously these allegations are being taken.
All the Money in the World was already a surprise entry into this year’s awards race, as Scott only shot the film earlier this year on the heels of finishing Alien: Covenant. But Sony has been under the gun to release the film quickly, as Danny Boyle has an FX miniseries called Trust that covers the same true story and premieres in January. All the Money in the World chronicles the true life saga of the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and his mother’s desperate attempt to convince his insanely wealthy grandfather (Spacey/Plummer) to pay the ransom.
The decision to remove Spacey from All the Money in the World was made by Scott along with Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, with the cast and crew of the film, Sony Pictures, as well as Williams and Mark Wahlberg cooperating. Scott was apparently particularly incensed that a film he and others worked hard to make would be hobbled by Spacey, so he took charge of finding a fix. And per THR, Plummer was actually Scott’s first choice for the role of Getty, but Sony wanted a bigger name in the part.
This is pretty crazy even for Scott, who works notoriously quickly. Variety adds that reshoots will take place over the next two weeks and Wahlberg and Williams are expected to be involved (let’s hope their wigs are better than the one Kate Mara wore in the Fantastic Four reshoots). And while Spacey only worked on the film for about two weeks so Plummer’s scenes aren’t extensive, the team now has a little over a month to shoot and edit this all seamlessly into the finished film, as All the Money in the World is slated for release on December 22nd.
The film was originally poised to debut at AFI Fest next week, but the decision was made to scrap the premiere a few days ago. Spacey has also been effectively fired from House of Cards and Netflix has decided not to move forward with his biopic Gore, which he just finished shooting right before Anthony Rapp became the first voice among many speaking to Spacey’s alleged harassment and assault.