Heh, you think that’d stop them doing it?
Star Wars is Earth 1138.
Marvel came close to buying DC once.
I wasn’t sure where to put this, but given that Scott’s interview seems to look at everything from the point of view of film as a business, I thought it belonged here.
Scott’s comments may seem a bit cold to some, but I admire his honesty and I think it’s one of the most candid and realistic comments I’ve read on how these scandals will affect the film industry.
This is a striking bit:
“Whatever you do in private is not my business. It only becomes my business if it infects the business that I’m in. Then it’s my duty to do something about it.”
And that attitude is widespread in every business, it’s not about morality, it’s just business.
Scott was a rich man before he made his first feature film. Commercials made him wealthy and he kept making them and kept the attitude they encouraged him to develop; time is money, don’t fuck me about.
I have less of a problem with his ruthless streak than with other people who are more ego, than business, driven. Cold is still cold, but Scott is at least thinking of other people and their stake in the film, as well as himself.
Scott seems like a very interesting interviewee.
Oh, and this bit stood out for me:
Hollywood’s reckoning has further to go, he says. “There aren’t enough people being pursued. It sounds a lot, but it’s not really. It’s long overdue, honestly.” He thinks actors who are trailed by misconduct rumours will struggle for work. “The first people to pick that up would be the studio because it’s their money. They’d say: ‘Oi, we don’t want any problems.’” Scott is “amazed” that several upcoming films, which he declines to identify, have not been kiboshed.
Yes, that was an interesting comment. I wonder if we’ll ever find out what he’s referring to.
I think his no-bullshit approach to the subject is quite refreshing, and seems logical to me. It’s always going to be the business side that dictates how the moral issues are handled in terms of actors getting roles.
But there’s a strong argument to be made that he did it at all because he realized he’d made the first new movie most people would see from Kevin Spacey, and he thought that alone would impact its box office. But we can see, now that it’s been released, that Spacey or not, it’s just another Ridley Scott misfire, because it’s another one of his movies that doesn’t demand to be seen. I admire Scott’s blockbuster instincts as much as anyone. I’ve consistently adored his epics since Gladiator (Kingdom of Heaven, Exodus), and a lot of his other stuff, too, but he’s hardly been a reliable draw over the years. This was first and foremost a cynical public relations move. He saw it as a chance to be on the “right side of history,” and he took it. I find it unlikely that there was really no clue about what Spacey was up to over the years, if the allegations are true.
I’m not sure quite where you’re coming from on this. He’s very clear in the interview that the move has everything to do with the PR/marketing/business side of the movie, and nothing to do with him making a personal moral statement on Spacey either way.
He goes to great lengths to point out that this wasn’t primarily motivated by him trying to appear to be “on the right side of history” - even though that would be an easy position to take - but by the commercial impact of the scandal on the movie.
The right side of history would require that he frame it as a moral choice, not a pragmatic one.
But by his pretzel logic, his pragmatic reasoning, he’s seeking justification for a decision he made incredibly rapidly, and an action he jumped into. He can say whatever he wants, and again I’ve never previously been critical of a director I consider to be among the best of the past forty years, but the only reason he did this was because he thought he had to, that if he hadn’t he would’ve been viewed as complicit. Which is everything to do with distancing himself from a pariah. Making himself look good. The film making money is really the only thing any of those people really care about. He thought it would make more without Spacey. At this point, it making any less would be a quibble. So we know the outcome. Continuing to justify what he did is only digging in, no matter how he frames the argument.
Complicit how? Condoning perhaps,and avoiding that is definitely a motive for a lot of people cutting themselves off from people in Spacey’s situation.
But how many of those people had a film, completed, and ready for release?
Whatever you think Scott’s other motives might be, his main one was clear; save the film.
And morally speaking, that’s hardly the action of a saint.
But the very act of rejecting Spacey (or anyone) based off of allegations is a matter of public debate at best. It was never of popular consent. Taking the extraordinary measure of deleting a whole performance from a film that was shortly to be released is a knee jerk reaction that was everything to do with aligning with the current climate. That and that alone. He admits as much. But he also tries to say it was because he didn’t think Spacey in the movie would be good for business. Listen, Kevin Spacey hasn’t been a reliable box office draw…ever, but as a headlining act, since more or less the turn of the millennium, when American Beauty, a movie that has more or less completely disappeared from pop culture, got him the Oscar his work in the late ‘90s had earned him (according to awards logic). House of Cards did not make him a draw all over again. It gave critics a reason to laude him again.
So it wasn’t for monetary reasons.
Sorry, but I don’t understand your logic at all.
There’s a difference between not being a big draw and actually being a big detriment.
He was never the lead, Getty Snr. is a crucial, but occasional role in the film. Spacey was cast as a respected actor to help generate good reviews (they were going to push him forward for a Supporting Actor Oscar). He wasn’t going to do that anymore.
So he was replaced.
If you want to know what Scott is thinking, this is also quite illuminatiing;
The director said he did not tell Mr. Spacey that he was being replaced because Mr. Spacey had never contacted him to discuss the misconduct allegations.
“A phone call would have been nice,” Mr. Scott said. “At first I was disappointed. Then I was mad.”
Kevin Spacey owes a lot of people apologies, but Scott thinks he should be on that list. That’s where he places himself in all of this.
I feel like this is all a bit confused.
Scott knew that the public reaction to the Spacey scandal meant that Spacey’s presence in the film would hurt it commercially. He reckoned that the expense of reshooting Spacey’s role with a different actor would be more than offset by the financial benefit of getting rid of Spacey at that point.
That’s not Scott rejecting Spacey because of the allegations. That’s Scott recasting Spacey’s role because of the public reaction to the allegations. A business decision, not a moral one.
And from a moral point of view, it wouldn’t even fix the issue that Spacey had his scenes shot, meaning that Scott’s probably under legal obligation to pay Spacey, no matter how much of a scumbag he turned out to be after the contract was signed, meaning that no matter what, part of what All the Money in the World needs to make back at the box office, part of its budget is going to Spacey. So if people feel that Scott would be complicit, he still would be, and so would people who bought a ticket to the movie, as a part of the money they payed for the ticket (probably very small- like maybe 0.001¢ or even less, but still part of their money) is going to Spacey.
There’s a ton of assumption going on that the population at large cares as much about the allegations as Ridley Scott or the film industry, or the people involved, or the gay community (which didn’t particularly like how Spacey came out). Was “everyone” really that mad at Spacey? It’s like when “everyone” thought Snakes on a Plane was going to be a huge blockbuster, because it had been such a good topic of discussion on the Internet. And hey, Man of Steel and Justicd League both had hugely positive buzz, based on their trailers. To use relevant examples. But that didn’t exactly turn out the way people expected.
I don’t see a solid case about this being about anything but Scott making a career move.
Who knows if people are mad or what, I just think the producers didn’t want people to think about someone grabbing an underage boy’s junk against his consent every time an actor comes on screen. That, and I think enough people would be mad that it would make a dent in the box office. The box office is currently sitting at $19 million so they need all the help they can get.
It’s not exactly burning up the charts.
If Spacey had not become toxic and the movie was released as originally intended, I think it probably would have come and gone with little fanfare.
If they had kept Spacey in and went ahead of its release, it really would have been a PR nightmare. I’d wager the movie would be doing a lot worse than it already is.
They could have also just pulled it completely and shelved it like Louis CK did with his.
They were several options and they chose the one they thought would give the movie the best chance of success.