Sony's All the Money in the World was heading towards a disaster, when it was reported in October that star Kevin Spacey had been accused of sexual misconduct, first by actor Anthony Rapp and then by several others on his Netflix series House of Cards. This led director Ridley Scott to pull off an unprecedented power move, replacing Kevin Spacey with Christopher Plummer, and scrubbing all of Kevin Spacey's footage from the movie, which had already been fully completed. Now that the movie has hit theaters, the director shed some light into his process, revealing in a new interview that he never showed Christopher Plummer any of the scenes that Kevin Spacey did.
"You have to protect the new actor. I would never show Christopher what Kevin did (as J. Paul Getty). I want him to be his own man. He is his own man in this one, and a lot of that comes from the inherent nature of Christopher, who is essentially very charming, has that twinkle, has that smile, and when he's playing with those words, is a motherfucker. He can give it a bit more depth. Kevin, who, without question, did a great job, was colder. The humor was cooler, except he was quite nice to the boy who he walks around the park of Hadrian's Villa. That was a nice scene with Kevin. That was the softest I've seen Kevin."
Shortly after the decision was made, it was revealed that replacing Kevin Spacey cost millions, not only for the nine days of reshoots that they had to pull off, over the Thanksgiving holiday no less, but also in marketing costs, to replace all of the posters and trailers that had images and footage with Kevin Spacey, with new materials featuring Christopher Plummer. It was also confirmed in this new interview that director Ridley Scott basically made the decision to do these reshoots himself, with the first look at Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty surfacing on November 29, the last day of reshoots that started on November 20. The director also revealed that he used these reshoots as an opportunity to make some additional tweaks, which he also didn't tell the studio about, one of which involves the perceived "relationship" between Mark Wahlberg's Fletcher Chase and Michelle Williams' Gail Harris, the mother of the kidnapped John Paul Getty III. Here's what he had to say about what he changed about their relationship below.
"I adjusted a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and they don't even know it's happening. I'd never tell them that. I always felt there was an implied relationship between Gail and Chase. When you spend that much time together and you're roughly the same age, and Chase was a very presentable kind of guy, and Gail was a very presentable kind of woman ... they're two people going into battle, and the implication that something could evolve is there. I told [Michelle], 'So, when you come out and he's at the flat, kick your shoes off and get a beer. Walk past him in stocking feet. Immediately, that is sexy. Take the earrings off and talk about your son. There's all this implication, all these little things are happening, right? And then, near the end, if you watch her very closely, she's standing there melting when she says to Chase, 'We always think of you as family.' How far can you go to let me think that maybe there's something you wish could have happened?"
This project already came together quite fast, with director Ridley Scott signing on to direct just this past March, with filming taking place in May, just after his Alien: Covenant hit theaters, with the first trailer arriving in September. The movie hit theaters on Christmas Day, the only new movie opening in wide release, which took in $2.6 million. Since Christmas fell on a Monday this year, it won't have a traditional opening weekend, but since there are no movies arriving in wide release this coming weekend it will be interesting to see if audiences flock to this movie, the last wide release of 2017. You can head on over to Vulture for their full interview with Ridley Scott.