Kevin Spacey likely learned that his performance would be omitted from “All The Money in The World” via the Internet, just like everyone else. The film’s director, Ridley Scott, told The New York Times that he did not inform the two-time Oscar winner of his recasting because the actor never called once he had been publicly accused of sexual harassment and worse. Allegations have been made against Spacey by more than 30 accusers, including 16 male staff members from the Old Vic, where Spacey served as artistic director for 11 years.
“A phone call would have been nice,” said Scott, already a Best Director Golden Globe nominee for the film. “At first I was disappointed. Then I was mad.”
The Times article also established the timeline of events that led to the $10 million decision to replace Spacey while still bringing the feature to theaters by Christmas (the original release date was December 22, but it will now come out December 25; the film did vanquish its closing-night status at last month’s AFI Fest).
Thomas E. Rothman, the chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Motion Picture Group, insisted that they still release the film near Christmas both to benefit from holiday theater traffic and preempt FX’s January 2018 miniseries, “Trust,” which also focusing on the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III when he was 16 years old. Getty III’s grandfather was billionaire oil tycoon J. Paul Getty — the Spacey role, erased to make way for a Golden Globe–nominated performance from Christopher Plummer — who refused to pay the abductors’ initial demanded ransom, $17 million. After talking to Scott, “All the Money” producers Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas went to Rothman with the idea of replacing Spacey entirely, a first in Rothman’s 450-film career.
Scott flew from London to New York City, and on November 7 he pitched the role to Plummer, who he originally eyed for the part (Plummer is 88 and Spacey — who was paid for his work — is 58; when his grandson was taken, J. Paul Getty was 80 years old, the same age Scott is now). Within hours, Plummer had read David Scarpa’s script and accepted, agreeing to film 22 scenes, which Scott and his team executed and edited within nine days.
If he had his druthers, The Times wrote, Rothman would amend the scandal-tinged narrative surrounding “All the Money” to “two octogenarians kicking absolute ass.”