Director Ridley Scott had the movie All the Money in the World ready to go. Then in late October, Kevin Spacey, who played J. Paul Getty in the film, became persona non grata under numerous accusations of sexual assault against minors. What to do? If the movie missed its release date, it wouldn't be eligible for the Oscars. And a miniseries on FX was planning to tell the same story on TV soon. Scott called in the lead actors and 88-year-old Christopher Plummer to reshoot all of Spacey's scenes Thanksgiving week, and then a kamikaze editing session remade the movie in time for its December theatrical release (although it was moved three days to avoid competing with some other big films' opening dates). Vulture talked to Scott about the gambit.
You’re known as a fast filmmaker. But I would imagine that for these reshoots, you had to work even faster.
Oh, yeah. Easy. The Martian I did in 72 days. Normally, that would be 100.
How do you do it?
You plan, you know exactly what it will look like, and I think it helps me enormously that I still do something as basic as storyboard my own stuff. It forces me, on paper, to make decisions. My boards are now insured for $6 million! I literally draw “wide shot,” “medium cross,” “long shot,” in detail. I’ll get a great frame, snap my fingers, and move on to the next one. You’re filming on paper before you even begin, so when I walk on set, I know exactly what I’m going to do. That gives me a confidence with the actors, and the actors smell it.