×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ridley Scott’s ‘All the Money in the World’ Star-Switch Pays Off

A mere 76 days before scoring an Oscar nomination for playing ruthless tycoon J. Paul Getty in “All the Money in the World,” Christopher Plummer wasn’t even in the movie.

But scandal swirling around colleague Kevin Spacey set in motion one of Hollywood’s all-time boldest gambles: completely excising and replacing an A-list star.

Allegations of the “American Beauty” actor’s sexual misconduct first broke on Oct. 29, less than three weeks before the gala Hollywood premiere for Sony’s fact-based kidnap thriller.With public outrage mounting, postponing release to 2018, or even beyond, wasn’t out of the question.

But producer-director Ridley Scott was determined his team’s work would get a fair shake in the marketplace, sending a script over to the more age-appropriate actor he’d first sought. Scott assembled stars and crew over Thanksgiving to recreate Spacey’s 10 days of critical scenes, with footage daily edited into the film so as to meet critics’ and awards groups’ deadlines.

Controversy over reshoot pay disparities arose and just as quickly subsided when Mark Wahlberg donated $1.5 million to the Time’s Up legal fund in the name of Michelle Williams (paid $800 in per diems).

Missing its original Dec. 22 debut by only three days, the movie may not have earned all the money in the world. But the director’s seamless stitchery was widely hailed, and Plummer enjoyed the reviews and the awards recognition Sony had hoped for Spacey in less-tumultuous days.

Actors’ deaths have often required doubles and other trickery, notably by Scott himself when Oliver Reed passed during production on “Gladiator.”

But a potential career death blow, sending Plummer in for Spacey, is something else again. Circumstances, technical wizardry and producers’ guts combined to pull off a feat that may not soon be duplicated, but is sure to be remembered.

More Film

  • Gkids Takes Salvador Simó’s ‘Buñuel in

    Gkids Acquires ‘Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    BUENOS AIRES — Gkids, the U.S. distributor of ten Best Animated Feature Oscar nominations including this year’s “The Breadwinner,” has acquired North American rights to Spaniard Salvador Simó’s “Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles.” Gkids will release the film theatrically next year. The animated feature is sold worldwide by Spain’s Latido Films; the all-rights [...]

  • Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) returns to

    Film Review: 'Mary Poppins Returns'

    Nostalgia is a quaint word, one that summons visions of things that are toasty, comfy, wholesome, reassuring — all qualities, as it happens, that we associate with the 1964 Walt Disney nanny-from-heaven musical “Mary Poppins.” Yet nostalgia can also be a magical thing. It’s the great time machine of human emotion, with the power to [...]

  • O_163_wem_1360_comp_v003_01,1159 2 – L-R: Gwilym Lee

    SAG Award Nominations: Biggest Snubs and Surprises

    At the SAG Awards nominations Wednesday morning, “A Star Is Born” led the film pack with four nods and while that wasn’t a surprise, there were plenty of snubs and surprises that caught us off guard. On the television side, a plethora of co-stars are competing against each other, as both male and female actors [...]

  • DF-04714_R2 - Jennifer Lawrence stars as

    20th Century Fox Takes Final Bow at CineAsia

    If it is possible to feel sympathy for the demise of a competitor, such feelings were on display Wednesday evening at the CineAsia distributors and exhibitors’ convention in Hong Kong. 20th Century Fox made what was expected to be its final product presentation at the event as an independent studio. The mega-acquisition of Fox by [...]

  • SAG Awards Placeholder

    SAG Nominations Scorecard: Netflix Leads the Pack

    Netflix led the way among all networks and studios with this year’s SAG nominations, garnering 15 nods thanks to programming like “GLOW,” “Ozark,” “Grace and Frankie” and “The Kominsky Method.” “Ozark” was among the select group of titles to snare four nominations, along with “A Star Is Born” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” On the [...]

  • SAG Nominations: 'A Star Is Born,'

    'A Star Is Born,' 'Mrs. Maisel,' 'Ozark' Lead SAG Awards Nominations

    Musical drama “A Star Is Born” led the way with four SAG feature film nominations, while “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Ozark” each scored a quartet of TV nominations. “BlacKkKlansman” and “The Favourite” both took a trio of film nominations, followed by “Barry,” “GLOW,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “The Kominsky Method,” each scoring three TV [...]

  • Marvelous Ms Maisel

    SAG Award Nominations: Complete List

    Nominations for the 25th annual SAG Awards were announced on Wednesday. Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s “A Star Is Born” led film nominations with four nods, including best actor for Cooper, best actress for Gaga, best ensemble, and best supporting actor for Sam Elliot. “BlacKkKlansman” and “The Favourite” followed close behind, both taking home a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content