Christopher Plummer's 2018 Oscars Nomination For 'All The Money In The World' Sets An Amazing Precedent For Hollywood
The film All the Money in the World has hardly stayed out of the headlines in the months before and after its release, and it's not likely to go anywhere now. After all, Christopher Plummer has been nominated for an Oscar after taking over Kevin Spacey's role in the All The Money in the World. It's a move that positions both the Academy and the industry firmly in the corner of survivors, and rewards those involved with the film for taking a moral stance. Particularly director Ridley Scott, who called for the replacement, and Plummer, who stepped in last-minute to fill the gaps.
Although filming had been completed, Spacey was cut from the film in November after allegations of sexual misconduct were brought against the former House of Cards star by multiple men. (Spacey has responded to the claims through his lawyer, who stated last year, "Mr. Spacey absolutely denies the allegations.") To public knowledge, no criminal charges have been brought against Spacey, so his removal from the film reflected how seriously Hollywood is taking the claims against him. The actor had originally been cast to play J. Paul Getty, the real-life oil tycoon who was once the richest man in the world, and who had to grapple with the implications of that title when his grandson was abducted and held for a $17 million ransom in 1973 — a ransom that he refused to pay.
Deadline reports that Spacey was on set for just eight to 10 days shooting the crucial supporting role, footage that immediately became defunct upon the controversial actor's removal from the project. Plummer was cast after a hastily-scheduled meeting in early November as the film scrambled to meet its planned released date, which was Dec. 22. That gave Plummer and Scott just six weeks to reshoot what Gulf News reports was 22 scenes, including scrubbing Spacey from the trailer, which had already been released.
The film's stars Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg were commissioned to return as well, which created its own media tailspin after it was discovered that Wahlberg had reportedly been paid $1.5 million for the reshoots, and Williams only about $1,000 in per diem. The former elected to donate his salary to the Time's Up fund as a show of support for survivors speaking up, and multiple acting nominations buoyed the film through the early award season.
But although Williams did not come away with an Oscar nod, Christopher Plummer did. His brief time on the All the Money in the World set resulted in a Best Supporting Actor nomination that was announced Jan. 23. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences never explains its choices one way or the other, so no official statement was made about Plummer's nomination. But when contrasted with the absence of a nomination for James Franco, there does seem to be a larger, implied message of support for those who speak up about misconduct.
Franco was honored at the Golden Globes for The Disaster Artist just a day before having allegations of sexual misconduct leveled at him. Two women came forward about his alleged inappropriate and exploitative behavior in tweets posted the day after the actor won Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy in the Jan. 7 ceremony. (The actor responded to the allegations on The Late Show, where he claimed that what he'd seen posted on Twitter was "not accurate.")
Perhaps there's no connection between the series of allegations and these nominations — or lack thereof — for these two actors. But seeing whom the Academy has chosen to honor and whom it has not suggests a sea change in the way that allegations are responded to. And, if that is indeed the case, this change has been long-awaited.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.