Last we checked in on Ridley Scott’s John Paul Getty III kidnapping drama All the Money in the World, Sony, beset by the Kevin Spacey sexual misconduct firestorm, was weighing their options: Would they delay the film’s December release? Cancel its prestigious American Film Institute premiere? Release it as planned, then push Spacey into a volcano as penance?
Now, it turns out that the decision they made was a radical one, indeed: to remove Spacey’s performance from the (finished) film altogether, in what is being called a bold and unprecedented move. Scott has cast Christopher Plummer (The Sound of Music) to replace Spacey as billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty, a small but key supporting role that had visions of Oscar nominations dancing in Sony’s collective head.
All the Money in the World is still set to open on Dec. 22, as originally scheduled. Per Variety, Scott and company will shoot Plummer’s scenes over the next few weeks and incorporate his footage into the film in time for its release. Scott and the film’s financiers/producers at Imperative Entertainment decided Wednesday to cut Spacey out of All the Money in the World, a decision that Sony and Spacey’s co-stars, Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, supported.
Wahlberg and Williams are expected to be involved with the reshoots. Variety reports that “the shoot is plausible, as there are plenty of scenes where Getty is the only main character in the shot. Sources estimated Spacey shot around two weeks worth of footage, meaning the deadline isn’t impossible, but still quite tough to pull off.” Considering that Spacey hardly appears in the All the Money in the World trailer, it seems feasible for his performance to be replaced, and 87-year-old Oscar winner Plummer seems like just the man to be doing the replacing.
In case you’ve somehow managed to stay far, far away from the internet over the past couple of weeks, Spacey is currently embroiled in an escalating sexual misconduct scandal. Star Trek: Discovery actor Anthony Rapp first accused Spacey of making “an unwanted and unwarranted sexual advance” toward him when Rapp was only 14 years old, shortly after which Netflix announced that the Spacey-starring House of Cards would end after its forthcoming sixth season. From there, allegations against Spacey quickly multiplied, with former employees and performers at London’s Old Vic theatre and numerous crew members on House of Cards speaking out against his behavior. Netflix has since fired Spacey from the show (“Netflix will not be involved with any further production of House of Cards that includes Kevin Spacey,” producers said in a statement) and suspended production on its sixth season so as to find a way forward without the actor. A recent Variety report suggested that Spacey’s character Frank Underwood may even be killed off.
All the Money in the World will no longer screen to close out AFI Fest, and Sony also mothballed their plans for a Spacey-centric Oscar campaign, opting instead to attempt to salvage their film’s awards potential by refocusing their push on Wahlberg and Williams—perhaps that plan will now include Plummer, as well. Spacey, meanwhile, “is taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment,” per a recent statement from his publicist.
Twitter has welcomed Plummer with open arms. Enjoy a couple of choice reactions below.