The decision made by director Ridley Scott, Imperative Entertainment, and Sony Pictures to replace Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer in the upcoming All the Money in the World was an admirable one, but it’ll come at a hefty price tag. Following mounting allegations of sexual harassment and assault by Spacey, Scott made the decision to recast his supporting role in the true life kidnapping drama, in which he played billionaire J. Paul Getty. But Scott and Sony still intend to keep the film’s December 22nd release date, which makes this a pretty crazy scenario—they have to reshoot Spacey’s scenes with Plummer, re-edit the film, and redo all the marketing materials in one month.
Per Variety, this is not going to be cheap. Experts tell the outlet that the creation of new trailers, posters, in-theater materials and additional campaigns could total millions when one factors in the rush fees—the eight to 10 days of reshoots will reportedly cost at least $2.5 million all told. Imperative Entertainment, the film’s financiers, will shoulder the financial burden.
Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams are both expected to return for the reshoots, as Variety reports that Plummer will not be performing his scenes in front of a green screen so he can simply be inserted into the already-shot footage. Most of Spacey’s scenes only involve him interacting with a few other actors, and apparently Scott and the producers felt it would be more economical and practical to simply recreate the scenes altogether instead of using VFX (as Scott did on Gladiator when Oliver Reed died in the middle of filming). Indeed, inserting actors into scenes via CG almost always looks horrible onscreen, and the All the Money in the World team is working under an insane deadline here so there definitely wouldn’t be a ton of time to fine-tune the effects work.
Filming is set to take place over the next two weeks, and the aim now is to have the film locked by December 15th, at which point Sony will attempt to salvage the movie’s Oscar campaign. Spacey was to have been the centerpiece of the awards rollout, which would have begun with a premiere at AFI Fest next week, but that’s obviously off the table. They’ll miss deadlines for many of the critics groups since the film won’t be finished in time, and the SAG voting ends on December 10th, so if December 15th is the aim, they’ll miss that ceremony as well.
It’s unclear if they’ll even have time to make screeners, but the Golden Globes are still a possibility. Indeed, word on the street is that Williams is quite great in the film, so the awards campaign will likely center around her and the picture as a whole, and perhaps even Plummer. Wouldn’t that be a kicker, if Plummer lands an Oscar nomination for a role he shot mere weeks earlier?
Another motivating factor for Sony releasing the film in December is beating out FX’s miniseries Trust, which is also about the Getty kidnapping saga and was directed by Danny Boyle. And while this is definitely an expensive move, it’s nice to see Scott put his foot down and refuse to let his film get torpedoed thanks to Spacey. If anyone can pull off this move, it’s Scott.