How Ridley Scott's All The Money In The World Did The "Impossible" By Replacing Kevin Spacey
Ridley Scott has still not spoken to Kevin Spacey since replacing him.
When Star Trek: Discovery star Anthony Rapp accused Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, stemming from an incident when Rapp was 14, it sent a shockwave through Hollywood. Not only did Netflix sever ties with the actor, who starred on House of Cards, but director Ridley Scott revealed he was cutting Spacey out of his film All the Money in the World six weeks before release.
The move was an unprecedented one that had never been attempted before. However, as the New York Times reports, once the decision was made, it was full-steam ahead. It all began when the film's producers, Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, walked into the office of Sony Pictures chief Thomas E. Rothman and proposed the idea.
According to Rothman, his response was simple: "That would theoretically be fantastic. But I have supervised 450 movies over the course of my career. And what you are saying is impossible. There is not enough time."
Compared to the alternative, which was doing nothing and instead downplaying Spacey's role, pulling off the impossible was a far more attractive proposition for Scott. "You can sit there and let something kill you, or you can take action," he tells the Times. "I took action."
From there, the director met with acting legend Christopher Plummer, who had been initially considered for the role. The two met on November 7 and after reading the script, Plummer agreed to replace Spacey as J. Paul Getty. "This was too damn good to pass up," he says.
Then it became crunch time. Scott, Plummer, and the rest of the movie's cast and crew had to refilm 22 scenes. That led to everyone, including stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, working through Thanksgiving to deliver a finished product. It took nine days of long hours, hard work, and dedication, but they got it done.
In the end, the release of All the Money in the World was pushed three days from December 22 to December 25. Still, it's hard to dismiss the effort put in not just by Scott and the cast, but an entire crew determined to finish what they started.
As for Spacey's thoughts on being replaced, Scott says he yet to hear from the actor since the allegations first came to light. "A phone call would have been nice," he admits. "At first I was disappointed. Then I was mad."
Still, the quality of the movie may be all the better for the switch. "I think it's a fantastic change," Scott says. "Kevin's performance was colder. Christopher has enormous charm--a twinkle and a smile--that makes this coldly logical character feel even more dangerous."
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