×
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

  • Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree

    Cannes: Italy's Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree Takes 'Vivarium,' Ups Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    Italian distribution, production, and exhibition company Notorious Pictures is on a buying spree at the Cannes Film Market where they’ve acquired four high-profile titles, including Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots sci-fi-fier “Vivarium,” which world-premiered in Critics’ Week. On the production side the expanding outfit has teamed up with Belgium’s Tarantula Productions on Islamic terrorism thriller [...]

  • Marco Bellocchio The Traitor Cannes

    Director Marco Bellocchio Talks About Cannes Mafia Drama 'The Traitor'

    Cannes veteran Marco Bellocchio’s vast body of work spans from “Fists in the Pockets” (1965) to “Sweet Dreams,” which launched at Directors’ Fortnight in 2016. The auteur known for psychodramas and for bringing the complexities of Italian history, and hypocrisy, to the big screen is back, this time in competition, with “The Traitor,” a biopic [...]

  • Director Tudor Giurgiu on Transylvania Film

    Director Tudor Giurgiu on Transilvania Film Festival Opening Film ‘Parking’

    CANNES–A poet, a romantic, and a stranger in a strange land, Adrian is a Romanian immigrant working as a night watchman at a car dealership in Cordoba. After leaving his old life behind, he falls in love with a Spanish singer who offers him a shot at reinvention. But when a money-making scheme by his [...]

  • Their Algeria

    Lina Soualem’s ‘Their Algeria’ Wins First Docs-in-Progress Award

    CANNES–Lina Soualem’s “Their Algeria” won the inaugural Docs-in-Progress Award, a €10,000 ($11,300) cash prize given out by the Cannes Film Market’s Doc Corner with the support of the Intl. Film Talent Association (IEFTA), which was presented Tuesday at a ceremony at the Plage des Palmes. Soualem’s directorial debut was chosen out of the 24 works-in-progress [...]

  • Film Review: The Orphanage

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Orphanage'

    Amusing, at times poignant Bollywood re-creations are used in “The Orphanage” much as Afghan director Shahrbanoo Sadat mixed folklore with realism in her award-winning “Wolf and Sheep,” in both cases to add heightened levels of cultural significance and an element of fantasy as necessary correlatives to hardscrabble lives. While Sadat’s second feature is something of [...]

  • Three Identical Strangers

    Film News Roundup: 'Three Identical Strangers' Feature Adaptation Taps 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Writer

    In today’s film news roundup, “Three Identical Strangers” is moving ahead, Skeet Ulrich has been cast with Tom Hanks, the “Minions” sequel has been titled and “Vegas Dave” is getting a movie. MCCARTEN ATTACHED “Bohemian Rhapsody” screenwriter Anthony McCarten will write and produce the feature adaptation of the documentary “Three Identical Strangers.” Raw, Film4 and [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho, Choi Woo-shik. Director Bong

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Earns Five-Minute Cannes Ovation

    Just days after the announcement of the selection of “Parasite” for main competition at the Cannes Film Festival, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho warned members of the local press not to expect his film to win the Palme d’Or. He also suggested that the film was “hyper local” and possibly difficult for foreign audiences to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content