Director Alludes to a ‘Few More’ Sexual Predators Lurking in Hollywood
Ridley Scott, speaking quite frankly, also revealed how he replaced Kevin Spacey in 'All the Money in the World'
Following recent sexual harassment and assault allegations against Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey, something unorthodox happened with an upcoming movie starring the performer.
An announcement came out about “All the Money in the World,” directed by Ridley Scott, noting that Spacey would be replaced entirely in the movie through reshoots, which would insert actor Christopher Plummer in the role.
While the replacement wasn’t a total surprise considering the seriousness of the allegations against Spacey, the studio’s decision to keep the film’s December 22 release date was a shock to many. Reshooting and reworking a major role in a film that is already being promoted only weeks before a release date is unheard of, certainly.
The reshoots were estimated to have cost Sony Pictures $15 million, but it all worked out for Scott in the end. Plummer reportedly had been his first choice for the role — but he was pushed to cast Spacey to add more celebrity to the movie.
Spacey was originally set to play Jean Paul Getty, one of the richest men in the world. Despite his wealth, he refused to pay a ransom demanded by people who kidnapped his grandson. The film is based on the true story of the '70s kidnapping — and also stars Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams.
"You can't tolerate any kind of behavior like that. It will affect the film. We cannot let one person's action affect the good work of all these other people."
"I was finished with the film and was in Abbey Road [the U.K. recording studio] finalizing the music. Someone was like: 'Guess what?' And that's where it began," Scott recently told Entertainment Weekly about how he learned of the Spacey controversy. "I sat and thought about it and realized, we cannot. You can't tolerate any kind of behavior like that. And it will affect the film. We cannot let one person's action affect the good work of all these other people. It's that simple."
The reshoots were significant and included the work of other actors for pickup shots. "You have to know who you're going to go for [to recast the role] and if he's available. Chris [Plummer] was always on the list. So you find that out, but quietly, because you don't want it going around. I flew into New York and met with [Plummer] and he said yes. So then we had to figure out if everyone else would be available to fit in these new days of shooting. Miraculously, they were. Before you can make the decision you have to make these quick phone calls around — not to the actors directly, but to the agents — saying there's a possibility I may need some pickups [aka additional shooting days]," said Scott.
He continued, "You don't say why because of the gossip, but of course it was really for something much more significant … It was better to do it like this because once you inform the system, it's everywhere. Once two people know what it's about — bang, it's all out there."
Thus far, the growing number of sexual harassment and assault allegations coming out of Hollywood has seriously impacted many film and TV projects. Disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein has had his name scrubbed from multiple projects (including some looking for awards attention). Spacey was fired from his Netflix series "House of Cards," which is now figuring out a way forward without his involvement. And Jeffrey Tambor was let go from "Transparent," an Amazon program, which is also actively looking for a way forward without its lead actor.
Scott said he had "no idea" about Spacey's personal behavior, but he has not been surprised by names like Harvey Weinstein. The director said the disruptions to the industry are ultimately good — and that there remain a few people who still need to be exposed.
"I think it was about time. Harvey [Weinstein] definitely was way overdue. There will still be a few more people out there gritting their teeth who are way overdue."