In an unprecedented step, Kevin Spacey will be completely removed from the upcoming Getty kidnapping film, All the Money in the World, Deadline reports. His scenes will be reshot immediately, with Christopher Plummer replacing him in the role of J. Paul Getty. The news came in an announcement from director Ridley Scott and producers Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas of Imperative Enertainment. Scott still plans to have his film in theaters on Dec. 22, as originally planned.
Spacey faces multiple allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and has been suspended from his hit Netflix series, House of Cards. Director Scott and producer Friedkin were reportedly angry that their upcoming film would be released under the cloud of the ongoing Kevin Spacey scandal, hurting the careers of people who were not at fault. With the unanimous consent of Sony Pictures and the entire cast and crew, including Spacey’s co-stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg, they rapidly set up reshoots to replace the actor entirely. The film had been intended to close out the AFI film festival, but was withdrawn as the Spacey scandal broadened in scope. Spacey reportedly worked eight to ten days on the film, and with the release date only a month and a half away, time will be of the essence.
According to the Hollywood Reporter’s Borys Kit, Plummer was Scott’s original first choice to play Getty all along, but Sony insisted on casting a bigger star:
Fun tidbit: Christopher Plummer was the first choice for the role J Paul Getty but Sony topper Tom Rothman wanted a bigger name. So Ridley Scott went for Spacey. https://t.co/k92WYr2m6T— Borys Kit (@Borys_Kit) November 9, 2017
Plummer is also closer to the correct age for the role. Getty was 80 at the time of his nephew’s kidnapping; Plummer is now 87; Spacey turned 58 this July. (Although J. Paul Getty’s grandson, J. Paul Getty III, is being played by Charlie Plummer, the two men are not related.)
As Deadline points out, this is the second recent example of artists and producers taking dramatic steps to free their films from any association with the expanding list of Hollywood figures facing sexual harassment allegations. Writer/director Taylor Sheridan took control of his film Wind River back from the Weinstein Company after numerous women came forward with allegations that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed or sexually assaulted them.