Sony’s upcoming All the Money in the World biopic shocked the movie world earlier this week, when the decision was made to remove Kevin Spacey entirely from the true-life drama, reshooting new scenes with Christopher Plummer playing the richest man in the world, J. Paul Getty. As if that move wasn’t unprecedented enough, the director still plans to hit the movie’s December 22 release date, giving the filmmaker just over a month to pull off this unprecedented task. A new report surfaced today that reveals Sony may very well wish it actually had all the money in the world, since this entire process is expected to cost millions of dollars.
Variety reports that some marketers estimate the cost of putting together new trailers, posters and in-theater standees for All the Money in the World, will cost millions, along with rush fees and takedown fees for the old materials. There was talk among the studio of simply pushing the movie into 2018, and away from this prestige, Oscar-friendly release date of December 22, but the studio reportedly also wanted to stay put so the movie could debut ahead of the FX TV series Trust from director Danny Boyle, which also focuses on the John Paul Getty III kidnapping and is set to debut in January.
As for the reshoots themselves, Kevin Spacey reportedly worked between eight and 10 days for director Ridley Scott, and it will take exactly that long for the reshoots, with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams agreeing to come back to film new scenes with Christopher Plummer as J. Paul Getty. This extra eight to 10 days is expected to cost another $10 million, and it may be even more if they have to pay Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams more than expected. Both actors had two weeks of reshoots written into their contract, but if they already went past that amount on reshoots before this casting switch, the studio will have to pay their pro-rated weekly rate for the new shoot.
As for Christopher Plummer, the actor is expected to fetch between $250,000 and $450,000 for the role. While Mark Wahlberg currently wasn’t in production on another project, although he was doing press for Daddy’s Home 2, Michelle Williams was currently shooting the Sony Pictures Spider-Man spin-off Venom. Since it’s in Sony’s best interest to make her available for these reshoots, which they are doing. Sources claim that the reshoots will take place over the next few weeks, with the goal to have the picture completely locked by December 15, just one week before the December 22 release date.
One option that was reportedly never considered by the filmmakers was to have Christopher Plummer shoot against a green screen, and have his scenes digitally inserted into the pre-existing footage, while taking Kevin Spacey out of those same shots. Sources claim that this process can be quite tricky, particularly in getting the lighting from both shots to match up and be in sync. Since most of Kevin Spacey’s scenes were with Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams, or solo shots, so it was deemed more economical to simply reshoot the scenes Kevin Spacey was in with Christopher Plummer. This unprecedented decision was made because director Ridley Scott didn’t want his film, which started shooting starting in May with December 22 release date handed out within months of each other, to be damaged in the aftermath of the dearth of Kevin Spacey sexual misconduct allegations that have surfaced over the past few days. This report from Variety also adds that Hollywood producers will be watching this intently, since it could set a new precedent with simply removing stars from a film after a scandal breaks.