Q1 2018

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38 CINEMONTAGE / Q1 2018 by Steve Hullfish T he production and post-production of Ridley Scott's All the Money in the World is one of the most fascinating filmmaking stories of the past year, perhaps the decade. The film tells the true story of the 1973 kidnapping of 16-year-old J. Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer), grandson of billionaire J. Paul Getty (originally Kevin Spacey, but now Christopher Plummer). The film follows the efforts of the younger Getty's mother (Michelle Williams) as she tries to get the ransom money from her wealthy father-in-law. Eventually, she's aided in her efforts by the billionaire's lawyer, Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg). The film was initially slated for a December 22, 2017 release date through Sony's TriStar Pictures. Originally, Scott had wanted Christopher Plummer for the central role of J. Paul Getty, but Sony pushed for the more bankable Kevin Spacey. However, just as the completed film was about to enter its final mix, allegations of sexual misconduct against Spacey threatened to derail the movie (as it had done the actor's other projects). The marketing campaign (including the trailer) for the film was already in full swing. Instead of allowing the allegations to scuttle the film's release, or turn it into a cinematic scourge if released as is, Sony and Scott announced that he would re-shoot all of the Spacey scenes with his preferred choice of Plummer in the role. This meant unlocking the picture and shooting and re-cutting 22 scenes of the movie in a matter of weeks in order to maintain the original release date. This incredible and unprecedented post-production challenge was placed on the shoulders of editor Claire Simpson. Scott had previously partnered with her on Someone to Watch Over Me (1987). Simpson also had worked with Scott's late brother, Tony, on The Fan (1996). Her other notable credits include Oliver Stone's Platoon (1987), for which she won the Oscar for Best Editing, and The Constant Gardener (2006), which garnered her an Academy Award nomination. The timeline of events of this extraordinary post-production schedule, as documented by Simpson, gives an idea of the pressures of this unusual production. Replacing Kevin Spacey Claire Simpson on Re-Cutting 'All The Money in the World' Kevin Spacey, left, and Christopher Plummer in the role of J. Paul Getty in the original and final versions, respectively, of All the Money in the World. Sony Pictures Entertainment Opposite: Editor Claire Simpson. Photo by Armen Asadorian

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