Two months ago, the first trailer for Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World came out, just ahead of the release of Blade Runner 2049. One of its big selling points appeared to be Kevin Spacey in layers of special effects makeup as the real-life figure, J. Paul Getty, the richest man in the world for a time, with the plot revolving around Getty’s callous renegotiating of his grandson’s ransom in the 1970s. The film was meant to hit theaters in December, just in time to make Oscar waves. However, Sony now has bigger concerns than whether or not their big movie will get any Oscar love. Last week, Sony announced that they were reshooting all the scenes with Spacey as Getty, using Oscar winner Christopher Plummer instead, in lieu of the recent allegations against the former. That is bizarre. It’s definitely warranted, and if they can pull it off and still push their movie out on time, it’s the right business decision, but it’s absurd to me because we already have a trailer with Spacey.
This trailer is now an artifact. It’s essentially a trailer for a film that doesn’t exist since new actor means new movie in my eyes. Are you familiar with the trailer for Roger Corman’s Fantastic Four (a real trailer for a non-existant film)? This trailer is almost as farcical as that one.
To end on a more positive note, here’s why I think this last minute alteration can be a blessing. Just from a technical standpoint, and not factoring in heinous allegations against Spacey, Christopher Plummer fits the role better. Getty was in his seventies during the film’s events,, which caused Ridley Scott to indulge his worst habit of over-doing the aging special effects. If you look at Spacey in the trailer, his appearance is a distraction rather than a boon for the drama. I’m assuming, since Plummer is nearing 90, that they will let him play the role freely, without this obstruction. Even before recent revelations, I would have preferred Plummer in the role. It should be worth the millions it’s reportedly costing the studio to reshoot J. Paul Getty scenes. Mark Whalberg and Michelle Williams costar.