The saying goes, “there is no such thing as bad publicity,” and that’s how Ridley Scott has tried to operate since the Kevin Spacey scandal threatened to overwhelm his latest film, All the Money in the World.
“If you forget as the director your one priority is to put bums on seats and you better entertain,” Scott tells EW. “So any form of publicity is useful. Need I go further?”
When Scott’s leading man was accused of sexual misconduct by numerous men, the director recast Spacey with Christopher Plummer (one of his initial picks for the role of J. Paul Getty) after principal photography had already wrapped. What happened next? Unprecedented reshoots in the 11th hour to preserve the hard work of his crew and acting ensemble before the film’s December release date. (Plummer has since become a Golden Globe Awards nominee in the best supporting actor category.)
“There’s no time for pondering,” Scott had told EW on the film’s set in November. “Sometimes you’ve got to lay down the law. You have to!”
All the Money in the World stars Plummer as Getty, the real-life oil magnate whose 16-year-old grandson was kidnapped for ransom in the ’70s. “The script can be about goddamn shoelaces. It [depends] on the vision, what’s at play what have you got to say,” Scott now reflects. “And so this had a story which would be not my kind of thing. In a funny kinda way, it can easily be seen as a history lesson, a docu, but there’s far more to the character and far more to the engine that made it really, you know, ‘I wanna make this.’”
The film also features the talents of Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, and Charlie Plummer. While Scott worked through Thanksgiving on the reshoots, the director told EW of the situation with Spacey, “We cannot let one person’s action affect the good work of all these other people. It’s that simple.”
Based on the book by John Pearson and written for the screen by David Scarpa, All the Money in the World opens in theaters on Dec. 25.