Update: “All the Money in the World” has officially been pulled by Sony and will no longer close the festival. AFI Fest released the following statement:
“AFI FEST celebrates film as a collaborative art form. 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.”
Earlier: The numerous sexual harassment and assault allegations made against Kevin Spacey have put Sony Pictures in a tough spot considering one of their big award season hopefuls, the John Paul Getty III kidnapping drama “All the Money in the World,” is currently set for release on December 22. Part of the movie’s Oscar push includes world premiering as the closing night selection of AFI FEST 2017, but that may no longer be the case if director Ridley Scott has his way. Sources tell Variety that Scott is urging Sony to cancel the film’s AFI premiere. In addition to directing, Scott also produced the film.
Sony has not changed the movie’s opening date yet, although insiders tell Variety that the studio is debating pushing the film back to June 2018. Sony had originally intended to craft a major Oscar campaign around Spacey, who is nearly unrecognizable as business tycoon J. Paul Getty. Spacey’s planned Oscar push has been scrapped, with Sony opting instead to focus potential awards attention on performances by Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg. Scott was expected to factor into the Best Director race as well, but even he seems to know releasing the movie now would be a toxic decision.
Kevin Spacey was first accused of sexual harassment by “Star Trek: Discovery” actor Anthony Rapp. In an article published by Buzzfeed, Rapp said Spacey made sexual advances toward him in 1986, when Rapp was only 14 years old and Spacey was 26 years old. Since Rapp’s allegation, more men have come forward with their own claims against Spacey, including Mexican actor Roberto Cavazos and documentary filmmaker Tony Montana. An anonymous artist told Vulture that he had a sexual relationship with Spacey when he was 14 years old that ended with Spacey allegedly trying to rape him.
In the wake of the sexual harassment allegations, Netflix has suspended production on the sixth and final season of Spacey’s Netflix series “House of Cards.” The streaming giant fired Spacey from the series after eight employees who worked on the show accused the actor of “predatory behavior.” Netflix is now reportedly figuring out how to continue the series without him.