When news broke of sexual harassment and assault accusations against Kevin Spacey, director Ridley Scott decided to recast Spacey's role in All The Money In The World — which proved easier said than done.
How would the accomplished director be able to recast a role in a film already promoted as starring Spacey, just weeks before the publicized release date without anyone knowing? Naturally, he brought in Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins to save the day.
There was immense pressure to keep the re-casting a secret. "When a call goes out to the casting agencies, 'Ridley Scott is looking for an actor to play a 90-year-old guy,' pretty much everybody knows what movie that is," admitted screenwriter David Scarpa in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. As they scrambled to replace Spacey, they devised a plan. To avoid raising suspicions, they asked Patty Jenkins to send out the casting call under the guise of it being for the limited drama series that she was developing called One Day She'll Darken.
After the undercover auditions took place, Christopher Plummer was cast to replace Spacey as elderly mogul and billionaire J. Paul Getty, whose grandson Paul Getty III was kidnapped in 1973. Now all they had to do was re-shoot all of Spacey's scenes with Plummer and still make the film's quickly approaching December 25 release date. No problem, right?
What happened next was a mad-dash, collaborative effort on behalf of the director, the film crew, and the actors. Co-stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg reportedly flew to Europe and re-shot the scenes for free. Williams, who plays the mother of Getty's kidnapped grandson was worried what ramifications the accusations would have on the film. "I just thought that this experience that we had all treasured was going to be essentially flushed down the toilet," the actress explained to USA Today.
The re-shot movie has already received acclaim from critics, earning Plummer, Scott, and Williams Golden Globe nominations. Time will soon tell whether or not Academy voters will be just as impressed.
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