With director Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World now playing in theaters, I recently landed an exclusive interview with screenwriter David Scarpa. He talked about what it was like working with Ridley Scott, when he first heard about the crazy true story, the scramble of a quick shoot (even before the Kevin Spacey drama), how much changed between the original script and the shooting script, what they had to cut, taking some dramatic license with the material by giving Michelle William’s character a chance to fight for her son, what it was like writing about someone who was so private, his writing process, and so much more.
If you’re not familiar with All the Money in the World, the film “follows the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother Gail (Michelle Williams) to convince his billionaire grandfather (Christopher Plummer) to pay the ransom. When Getty Sr. refuses, Gail attempts to sway him as her son’s captors become increasingly volatile and brutal. With her son’s life in the balance, Gail and Getty’s advisor (Mark Wahlberg) become unlikely allies in the race against time that ultimately reveals the true and lasting value of love over money.”
Check out what David Scarpa had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about. If you missed what Scarpa previously told us about Ridley Scott’s The Cartel and the Cleopatra movie, click the links.
- It’s such a crazy true story — when did he first hear about it?
- How he had always looked for a story about money, the way it rules us, and how it can become a prison.
When he was brought in on the project, and working around Ridley Scott’s schedule.
- The scramble of a quick shoot, even before the Kevin Spacey replacement.
- How much changed between the original script and the shooting script, and what they had to cut.
- Taking dramatic license, and some of what they changed in giving Michelle William’s character a chance to fight for her son.
- What it’s like writing about someone who was so private, and Getty’s public vs private persona.
- The challenge of making sure the “pathologically cheap” Getty did not just become a caricature given his addiction to money.
- When did Scarpa get his first break?
- What his writing process is, and if he’s disciplined in his work flow.