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The Race to Erase Kevin Spacey


LOS ANGELES — The sun was setting on Nov. 7, when Christopher Plummer arrived at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan for a secret, hastily arranged meeting.

He had intended to be resting in Connecticut after a whirlwind month. But Ridley Scott had flown in from London with an urgent plea: Would Mr. Plummer help expunge the disgraced Kevin Spacey from Mr. Scott's latest film, one set for theatrical release by Sony in just six weeks?

It would mean refilming 22 scenes in "All the Money in the World," about the 1973 kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and his grandfather's refusal to pay a $17 million ransom. "I admire you very much, but I still have to read the script," Mr. Plummer, 88, recalled telling Mr. Scott, 80, as they met in the Terrace Boardroom on the hotel's 11th floor.

By the next morning, Mr. Plummer had agreed to replace Mr. Spacey as Grandpa Getty.


Kevin Spacey as J. Paul Getty, a transformation that required facial prosthetics and heavy makeup. Credit Sony, via Associated Press


Mr. Plummer in the role. Being nearer in age to the character, he was able to forego the kind of facial disguise that Mr. Spacey had donned. Credit Giles Keyte/Sony

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