LOS ANGELES (Washington Post, Reuters) - A mere three weeks ago, after actor Anthony Rapp and a slew of others accused Oscar winner Kevin Spacey of sexual misconduct, director Ridley Scott tapped Christopher Plummer to replace Spacey in the upcoming film All The Money In The World.
The craziest part was that the movie had already been shot and was slated for a Dec 22 release.
Already, though, work on the Sony Pictures film is near completion after a nine-day emergency reshoot in Rome and London, Scott revealed during an on-set interview with Entertainment Weekly that was published on Wednesday (Nov 29).
"They're going to see it. I may have to do a couple of technical things to make it land completely technically, but it's really already done...I've done it," he said.
On Tuesday, a new trailer featuring Plummer in the role of the late billionaire J. Paul Getty in the drama about the real-life kidnapping of Getty's grandson was already on YouTube.
Scott said he knew he had to replace Spacey in the film, which is a potential awards season contender.
"You can't tolerate any kind of behaviour like that," he said. "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."
And he was confident he could make the necessary changes while still hitting his premiere date.
"I move like lightning," he said. "If you know what you're doing, you don't need 19 takes. You do one for the actor, one for me. It's all planned out. When you storyboard, you've already pre-filmed the movie in your head."
He didn't call Spacey about making the switch, nor did the actor reach out to him. "If he had called me and said, 'Hey, look, this is the way it is and I'm really sorry,' then I'd have handled it slightly differently," Scott said. No matter what, though, the director was set on hiring a new actor to take over.
Plummer immediately agreed to the role when Scott flew out to New York and offered it, but the actor has acknowledged more recently that "the situation is very sad, because (Spacey is) such a talented guy."
"The whole circumstance is sad," he told Entertainment Tonight. "But I've got to forget that and go and do it, because it's a very well-written script and Ridley has been very good."
His co-star Michelle Williams was less sympathetic. Talking to Entertainment Weekly, she said replacing Spacey immediately made her feel better about releasing the movie. "This doesn't do anything to ease the suffering of people who were all too personally affected by Kevin Spacey, but it is our little act of trying to right a wrong," she said. "And it sends a message to predators - you can't get away with this anymore. Something will be done."
Variety has reported that the reshoot would cost about US$10 million - one quarter of the original US$40 million budget. Sony Pictures has declined to comment on costs.
Asked about the studio's reaction to his decision, Scott replied with a laugh: "They were like, 'You'll never do it. God be with you.'"