all the money in the world

In a highly surprising move, Ridley Scott has decided to remove all of Kevin Spacey‘s scenes in the upcoming All the Money In the World and reshoot them with actor Christopher Plummer. The decision comes as a result of multiple sexual assault allegations levied against Spacey in recent weeks. This is an unprecedented decision: All the Money In the World was already finished, had released a trailer, and was set for release in a month. Even more surprising is news that Scott and the producers still plan to adhere to the film’s original release date.

Deadline reports that the decision to remove Spacey’s scenes and reshoot them was reached unanimously, with the cast and crew of the film, Sony Pictures, and Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas all agreeing to the reshoots. All the Money In the World stars Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams also agreed to reshoot the scenes they originally shot with Spacey.

Christopher Plummer will step into Spacey’s role of J. Paul Getty, a real-life oil tycoon who refused to pay the ransom when his grandson John Paul Getty III was kidnapped. Williams plays the mother of the kidnapped young man, and Wahlberg plays an associate of the elder Getty who teams-up with Williams’ character to help with the situation.

Per Deadline, Spacey filmed about eight to ten days on the film, so his role is not extensive, but his is clearly character that plays a major part in the narrative. Scott and company will have to work quickly, as the filmmaker is determined to stick to the film’s planned December 22 release date. All the Money In the World was originally set to close out the AFI Festival, but the film was pulled in the face of the mounting allegations against Spacey.

Near the end of October, actor Anthony Rapp came forward and revealed that Spacey made a sexual advance toward him when he was 14 years old. Since Rapp’s statement, numerous other individuals have come forward to make similar allegations against Spacey. In the fallout of the allegations, production was halted on Spacey’s Netflix show House of Cards, Spacey was suspended from the show, and producers began weighing the option to kill off his character.

All the Money in the World trailer

The move to replace Spacey with Plummer in All the Money In the World is doubly-surprising because it has almost no precedent. While actors have been replaced on productions in the past for various reasons, it’s almost unheard of for an actor’s scenes to be completely reshot after a film is completely finished and weeks away from release. The closest example might be Woody Allen’s 1987 film September, which Allen had finished and completely edited before deciding to reshoot with several new actors in several roles. But even in that case, Allen’s decision came well before the film was ready for release.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Plummer was Scott’s original choice for the part, but execs at Sony wanted a bigger name, which is how Spacey ended up in the role, buried under globs of old age makeup. Scott’s decision to protect his film from scandal by replacing Spacey is a bold one, although one can only assume the specter of the whole ordeal will linger over the final product when all is said and done.

All the Money In the World is currently still set for a December 22, 2017 release date.

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