Dropping Kevin Spacey from All the Money in the World, Ridley Scott’s movie about the real-life kidnapping of oil family heir John Paul Getty III, and reshooting his scenes will reportedly cost the film’s financiers over $10 million. Scott made the decision to recast Spacey from All the Money in the World in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations brought against the actor by multiple people. Veteran character actor Christopher Plummer will step into Spacey’s role as oil tycoon J. Paul Getty.
All the Money in the World was already finished and set to be released, with trailers and other marketing material put out featuring Spacey in heavy make-up as Getty. In an unprecedented move, Scott and Imperative Entertainment made the decision to erase Spacey from the movie and rush to shoot his scenes over again in time to still make the film’s planned late December release date.
As reported by Variety, reshoots with Plummer as J. Paul Getty will take eight to 10 days and cost over $10 million, with Imperative Entertainment footing the entire bill. Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg are both being called back to participate in the reshoots, with both actors likely earning their pro-rated weekly rate. Rather than shoot his actors against a green screen and try to digitally insert them into Spacey’s scenes, Scott plans to entirely re-do all the footage, which will require location shooting.
In addition to the cost of the actual reshoots, Imperative will likely incur millions more in marketing-related costs as they now must cut new trailers, recall posters and standees from theaters and replace them with new materials. The hope is that with Spacey removed from the film, All the Money in the World can still make its presence felt during awards season, and maybe grab enough gold to boost box office and help Imperative make back some of the money they’ll be spending to make it seem like Kevin Spacey was never a part of their production.
Sources told Variety that producers considered simply pushing the movie back to 2018 to give Scott more time, but elected to stay with their planned 2017 release date in order to beat Danny Boyle’s FX series Trust, which is also based on the John Paul Getty III story, and is set to star Donald Sutherland in the J. Paul Getty role.
Actors have been fired from movies before, and extensive reshoots are just part of the natural moviemaking process, but the situation for Scott is highly unprecedented given the lateness of the decision to cut Spacey and the short amount of time he has to get the new footage in the can and cut the movie back together. Scott has dealt with just about every emergency you can imagine in his long, long career as a film director, including having to finish without Oliver Reed after the actor died mid-way through shooting Gladiator, but the trick he’s trying to pull off with All the Money in the World is something even the 80-year-old Oscar-nominee has never remotely attempted.