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How Kevin Spacey Was Cut Out Of All The Money In The World

The film world dropped its collective jaw when director Ridley Scott announced his intent to remove embattled actor Kevin Spacey, who has faced numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, from the upcoming film All the Money in the World. To do this, Scott replaced Spacey with Christopher Plummer in the role of billionaire businessman J. Paul Getty, and reshot all of Spacey's scenes to erase him from the project completely.

Of course, that's just a watered-down version of what it really took to cut the actor out of the movie just six weeks before its release date. Scott, along with editors who worked on the film, gave a more detailed rundown of the replacement process in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter

"I jumped into it immediately saying, 'I can fix this. We [were] going to have to recast, make sure everyone was available, and [make sure] the locations were available so I could go back as soon as possible and pick up every shot that [Spacey] was in," Scott stated. "It would have been a pity if the film were completely neglected because of what happened."

His decision added $10 million to the film's overall budget of $40 million, a chunk of change provided by financing partner Imperative Entertainment that allowed for Scott to film nearly 400 new shots across the U.K. and Italy in just nine days. 

Stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg (who play J. Paul Getty's daughter and lawyer, respectively), returned for scenes that were redone from start to finish. Other re-worked scenes blended newly captured footage with shots taken from the original cut. (One such instance is when Getty is speaking with a group of journalists, likely the same shown in the film's first official trailer.) As cinematographer Dariusz Wolski explained, these scenes were staged "in a similar way," but were "adapted a little based on the performance and the dynamic between the actors." 

Scott headed back to nearly all the original film locations to reshoot, the single exception being a scene shot in Rome. Similarly, the only time Scott relied on visual effects was when he filmed Plummer in front of a green screen for a sequence originally shot in Jordan, since it wouldn't be practical to head all the way back to the Middle Eastern country when they were on a tight deadline. Spacey was simply digitally removed, and Plummer added in afterward.

All the Money in the World editor Claire Simpson offered her insights and experience as well, explaining that there was so much more to reshooting the scenes than just having Plummer go through the same motions and speak the same lines Spacey once did. "We were pressured with time, and the two [actors] gave very different performances, so it wasn't just a question of replacing [Spacey with Plummer]," she said. "The rhythm was very different, his emphasis on the dialogue was very different, and that impacted the other performances in the scene. So we decided to replace complete scenes."

Supervising sound editor Oliver Tarney agreed with Simpson's statement that Plummer's take on Getty was "a very different performance," and that replacement sound effects had to be added into the new cut because of it. "The sound effects were conformed into the new scenes," he said. "The foley for Getty's feet and moves had to be replaced entirely."

Viewers can see the fruits of the cast and crew's labor when All the Money in the World arrives in theaters on December 25.