In little over a month since the Harvey Weinstein revelations surfaced, we have seen a scourge of further allegations – particularly in Hollywood, but also in various other professions around the globe.
One of the most prominent names, and indeed one of the more extensive serial offenders, has been Kevin Spacey.
The two-time Oscar winner had been riding a towering wave of critical success, but thankfully it seems no number of little golden humanoids is able to exempt him from being dropped – no less than five weeks prior to a project’s release.
Sir Ridley Scott (fresh emphasis on the Sir) had recently finished post-production on said project, All the Money in the World, with the film ready to be rolled out on the awards circuit at this week’s AFI Fest.
Don’t green-light the next Woody Allen film – particularly a ‘middle-aged man sleeps with young women’ Woody Allen film
A biographical drama surrounding the kidnapping of J. Paul Getty’s grandson in 1973, Spacey had been cast as the notoriously frugal Getty – before Scott took the reportedly sole decision of recasting him with veteran actor (and, presumably, decent human being) Christopher Plummer. Sony’s astonishing insistence on upholding the film’s release date is a testament to Scott’s abilities as a filmmaker – both to his staggering prolificacy (this would be his second release of the year as director, and fifth as producer) and to his dogged persistence in refusing to allow Spacey to damage the production any further.
Allowing for reshoots, further post-production and the additional marketing, the five-week window is certainly optimistic.
That being said, there are few working directors with the experience to match Scott’s – particularly in the field of performance stand-in, making this razor-sharp schedule somewhat feasible.
The premature death of Oliver Reed during the filming of Gladiator (2002) forced the production team to generate a digital body double to complete his scenes; while Sean Young’s brief appearance in this year’s Blade Runner 2049, executive produced by Scott, was stunningly realised through digital superimposition – achieved by the same VFX house that is working on All the Money, in fact.
At its most elementary level, Scott’s decision indicates that there remain a few respectable figures of authority in the industry.
While it in no way accounts for the despicable revelations that are pouring out of Hollywood, the fact that some key figures are drawing a firm line on the matter is an important victory.
This event demonstrates the importance of ‘star power’ in Hollywood, with Scott fortunate enough to have earned this position of authority within the industry through a long, successful career.
Nevertheless, there aren’t many figures in Hollywood able to wield such influence – as such, the onus is on these producers and studios to be this resolute.
Don’t respond to allegations of sexual abuse with an Oscar for Best Actor; don’t green-light the next Woody Allen film – particularly a ‘middle-aged man sleeps with young women’ Woody Allen film.
We rejoiced this week when Gal Gadot effectively pressured Warner Bros. to remove producer Brett Ratner from the upcoming Wonder Woman sequel – yet further action must be taken. 280- character statements of regret and abhorrence may paint a pretty picture, but rosy words carry little significance if cast and crew continue to work with these loathsome individuals.