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The dilemmas of re-shooting Kevin Spacey's scenes in 'All the Money in the World'

Christopher Plummer, right, will replace Kevin Spacey's character in Ridley Scott's
Christopher Plummer, right, will replace Kevin Spacey's character in Ridley Scott's "All the Money in the World."
Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

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Director Ridley Scott says he will replace Kevin Spacey in the completed film, “All the Money in the World,” by re-shooting his scenes with Christopher Plummer. 

The movie is about the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III. Spacey plays his grandfather, the oil tycoon J. Paul Getty. 

The film was wrapped and slated for a Dec. 22 release. But as allegations of sexual misconduct continue to be made against Spacey, Sony Pictures was facing a disaster with its film, which it hopes might get Academy Award consideration. The movie had already been pulled from the Nov. 16 closing night showcase at the AFI Film Festival. 

Scott says the film will still meet its release date, which is six weeks away. But the prospect of reshooting much of the film, with all the details involved, seems daunting. To get an idea of what the filmmakers are taking on, we called on David Scott Rubin. He’s a veteran producer and production manager.

Here's what Rubin said he would do if he was a producer or manager on this re-shoot: 

The first thing I would be looking into is, who are the other actors that are performing in these scenes that we'd need to re-shoot? And where are they currently? What are their professional obligations? And in the context of those obligations, what is their current physical appearance for those roles in relationship to what their physical appearance was in our production, which we already shot.

In re-shoots, maintaining the continuity of a character's image can present a challenge. Since filming "All the Money in the World," actress Michelle Williams has moved on to a new production.

So somebody like myself would reach out to the other production and ask, Where are you guys shooting? What's your schedule look like? We might also have our hair, makeup and wardrobe people reach out to their people for Michelle and find out what her look is in that movie to see, for instance, do we have to put a wig on her? 

Other problems arise when the sets from the original shoot are no longer in existence. But Rubin says there's a workaround.

Most of the time, these days what we try to do is a digital mapping of our sets before we strike them — for this very reason. Then you'd have to go and [ask], Can I use that digital mapping for recreating the scenes that I need to reshoot?

But ultimately, Rubin says the biggest obstacle to the process is simply time and money.

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