The BBC have decided to recast Ed Westwick in the Agatha Christie TV series adaptation Order by Innocence, now that three women have come forward with sexual assault allegations against the actor. Ordeal by Innocence was meant to air this Christmas, but the British broadcaster decided to postpone the premiere. Now the BBC, Mammoth Screen and Agatha Christie Limited have chosen to recast Christian Cooke in Westwick's role and reshoot all of his scenes.
The murder mystery series finished filming last September and boasts a stellar cast that includes Bill Nighy, Anna Chancellor, Matthew Goode, and Eleanor Tomlinson. Ordeal by Innocence tells the story of a murdered matriarch Rachel Argyll (played by Chancellor) and the family members that could be guilty of the crime.
Westwick was playing the Mickey Argyll, one of the victim's adopted children, but now Cooke - known for his roles in films like Love, Rosie and such TV shows as Magic City and The Art of More - will fill the role and film scenes in Scotland with members of the ensemble cast, as reported by Variety. However, it is not the only TV series starring Westwick that might see him recast. The actor was in the middle of filming the second series of White Gold when the sexual assault allegations came out. Production has been suspended on White Gold, for the time being.
The BBC and Mammoth films have followed in the footsteps of Ridley Scott, who cut Kevin Spacey out of his movie All the Money in the World and replaced him with Christopher Plummer, following the sordid sexual assault allegations against him. Scott managed to reshoot the scenes in just 10 days so it could keep the film's Christmas release date. It reportedly cost $10 million to shoot scenes with Plummer in London, Rome, and other location, but that expense didn't come from Michelle Williams or Mark Wahlberg, as they reshot their scenes for free. The move paid off critically, as Plummer earned a Golden Globe nomination for his role as J. Paul Getty, as did Michelle Williams and Ridley Scott in the Best Actress and Best Director category, respectively. However, the film has only made $17.9 million against a $50 million production budget, thus far.
The Ordeal by Innocence reshoots have reportedly begun already at Renfrewshire’s Ardgowan House, which is being used as the setting for the Argyll's country estate. This will no doubt come with a hefty expense, but is obviously worth it in order to get the three-part miniseries to air and, hopefully, sell it to numerous territories in order to recoup their investment.
Ordeal by Innocence doesn't have a new premiere date, at the moment.