Director Ridley Scott’s film “All the Money in the World” has become the tale of not one, but two powerful and flawed men: billionaire oil tycoon John Paul Getty and the man originally cast to play him, Kevin Spacey.
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Less than two months before the scheduled release of the movie, Scott had already completely cut the film and started on different movie when actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused Spacey of pushing him onto a bed and climbing on top of him during a party in the 80s, when Rapp was just 14 years old.
Spacey claimed not to remember the incident but apologized for any hurt. In response to the allegations, Spacey tweeted in part "I honestly do not remember the encounter, it would have been over 30 years ago. But if I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior.”
Allegations from additional men soon followed. Scott says he wasn’t shocked when the revelations came out about Spacey.
“[I was] not completely surprised, and I knew there’s a bit of a reputation,” Scott, 80, told ABC News’ “Nightline.” “I keep out of that. I don’t concern myself with that. I don’t read tabloids. I don’t touch it. All I’m concerned about is the individual as an artist.”
Scott decided to recast and reshoot the film without Spacey, mere weeks from its late December release. ABC News' "Nightline" reached out to representatives for Spacey for comment regarding the reshooting, but they did not yet respond.
“He said, ‘Screw you. Why didn’t you offer it to me in the first place?’” Scott recalled.
Plummer slept on it, and then dived into the role.
“I was so excited. I wanted to do it immediately. And I was very surprised to find it was much longer than I thought it was. I thought, ‘Oh my God, what have I done?’ Two days later we were off to London and shooting,” Plummer, 88, told “Nightline.”
Michelle Williams, who stars in the film as Gail Getty, fighting to get her son back from the Mafiosi holding him, said for Christopher Plummer, it was a lot of work to prepare.
“Ridley relished it. Ridley thought, ‘Great, they’re going to give us some money. Let’s do this. It’ll be fun, ‘cause it’ll be difficult,’” Williams told “Nightline.” Sony added another $10 million to cover costs.
The reshoot took nine 18-hour days, 22 scenes, and was filmed in two cities. They re-shot in London and Rome, but not in the Jordanian desert, from which Spacey was digitally erased. Plummer was instead shot on a green screen and inserted into the scene.
“If I’ve got Getty here, and I’ve got maybe the edge of Michelle there, then I have to reshoot that,” Scott said.
Williams was also needed back on set.
“I received a phone call from a producer and [they] said, ‘Please don’t talk to anybody about this, but would you, if we could?’ And I said, ‘Not only would I, but I’ll give you back my salary if that would help. And I’ll give you my Thanksgiving break, if that would help.’ And they, to their credit, they only took my Thanksgiving break,” Williams said.
Williams said she felt strongly in favor of reshooting the film.
“I had felt like, ‘Here we go again.’ Like, it’s all about the abuser. And that’s the tyranny of abuse is that it’s always about them, and we’re all living in the aftermath of their actions,” Williams said.
Williams didn't want everyone's hard work to go to waste.
“For no one is it more painful than the people whose lives were directly affected, but it certainly infiltrated our lives and our work and our families and our time. And to have all that for naught was just a shame. The woman who designed the costumes, and the man who shot it and the driver that I had in London, who’s now like the uncle to my daughter.”
Scott, Williams and Plummer all received Golden Globe nominations for the film.
“You can get a Globe nomination just for saying your lines! Which is about what I did,” Plummer said laughing. “We tried very hard to find warmth and some vulnerability in the old man. I concentrated on making him perhaps more human than he deserved.”
“He’s absolutely beautiful. He’s mesmerizing,” Williams said of Plummer's interpretation. “Two very different actors, two very different performances. Totally different interpretations.”
Scott said he hasn’t spoken to Spacey and that Spacey hasn’t reached out to him. But he did say that he thinks Spacey’s work can still be praised in spite of what he may or may not have done in his private life.
“I think it’s a big endless debate and a big question, but I think yes, it should be. That film that he did, ‘American Beauty,’ is a great movie. What are you going to do, take that away from him? You can’t,” Scott said.
Scott admitted that there were only two people he had in mind when he was casting the role of John Paul Getty.
“That was it. And I made the wrong choice, didn’t I?” said Scott with a laugh.
“All the Money in the World” hits theaters on Christmas Day, just three days behind its original scheduled release date. And Scott claims he prefers Dec. 25, anyway.