Sony Pictures is pulling “All the Money in the World” from AFI Fest in the wake of sexual harassment and assault allegations against star Kevin Spacey. Variety reported earlier on Monday that the studio was considering yanking the picture from the gathering, as well as weighing opening the movie in 2018. However, the studio said the release date will remain unchanged. It will still premiere in wide release on Dec. 22, 2017.
“‘All the Money in the World’ is a superb film and more than worthy of its place of honor in the AFI Fest,” the company said in a statement. “But given the current allegations surrounding one of its actors and out of respect for those impacted, it would be inappropriate to celebrate at a gala at this difficult time. Accordingly, the film will be withdrawn. However, a film is not the work of one person. There are over 800 other actors, writers, artists, craftspeople and crew who worked tirelessly and ethically on this film, some for years, including one of cinema’s master directors. It would be a gross injustice to punish all of them for the wrongdoings of one supporting actor in the film.”
“All the Money in the World” is directed by Ridley Scott and co-stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg. Spacey plays oil tycoon J. Paul Getty. The film follows his refusal to pay a ransom for his grandson after he is kidnapped in Italy. Spacey’s latex-based performance (he’s nearly unrecognizable under heavy makeup) was once viewed as an Oscar contender. Sony has now abandoned the awards campaign for the actor. Spacey has been engulfed in scandal since actor Anthony Rapp alleged in an Oct. 29 BuzzFeed article that the actor made a sexual advance toward him when he was 14 years old. Other men, including Harry Dreyfuss, the son of actor Richard Dreyfuss, have since stepped forward with harassment claims about Spacey.
With the Oscar hopes for the $40 million film dimming, the studio hopes that it can focus on positioning the picture for commercial success. It also believes that the work of hundreds of crew members shouldn’t be overshadowed or affected by the allegations against Spacey. In a statement, the festival echoed that point.
“AFI Fest celebrates film as a collaborative art form,” the festival said. “We support Sony’s decision to postpone the premiere in order to ensure the thousands of people who worked together on this film are honored at a proper time and in a proper light.”
Deadline first reported that a decision had been made not to go forward with the premiere.