All the money in the world can’t completely erase disgraced actor Kevin Spacey from Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World – at least not from the wrong trailer for the film being shown Wednesday night at an Edwards theater east of Los Angeles.
“I literally almost jumped out of my seat,” said Esmarelda VillaLobos, an aspiring writer-director who saw it with her boyfriend before a screening of The Disaster Artist at the Edwards West Covina 18. “I said, ‘Oh my God, we just saw a unicorn.’ And he looked at me all wide-eyed and started giggling. We couldn’t believe it was such a big mistake.”
A call to Sony Pictures was greeted with the same reaction: “Oh my God!” Informed of the screw-up, another Sony rep emailed: “Really?? Wow. You’re the first we’ve heard. Getting into this w TriStar.”
Deadline tried but could not get a live human on the phone at the theater.
Hollywood was rocked in early November when director Ridley Scott, along with Imperative Entertainment’s Dan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas, decided to remove Spacey from their finished movie and replace him with Christopher Plummer. The unprecedented move came a week-plus after actor Anthony Rapp publicly accused Spacey of sexual advances on him in 1986 with Rapp was 14. Spacey offered a public apology, but the allegations set off a wave of news including Spacey being removed from his starring role on Netflix’s House of Cards, allegations of sexual misconduct during Spacey’s stint as artistic director of London’s Old Vic and Scotland Yard launching an investigation over a 2005 assault claim.
VillaLobos saw All the Money in the World – sans Spacey – last week and thought the movie was great. “Ridley Scott is a master,” said the aspiring filmmaker, who does stand-up comedy Thursday nights at Pizza Beer and Wings in Pomona. “The fact that he replaced a human being in this movie with another actor who should have been cast in the first place, re-shot it, finished it, and got it out by its original release date is a feat of superhuman intelligence and strength.”
But seeing the wrong trailer is a movie experience she said she’ll never forget. “My boyfriend doesn’t keep on top of the film business like I do; he goes to the movies and knew about the Kevin Spacey thing, but he’s not as invested as I am in movie news. I read Deadline every day. I’m the biggest movie buff you will ever meet. I worked at a Blockbuster for five years, have a bachelor’s degree in film history from Cal State Fullerton, and I worked in indie films for five years as an assistant and junior executive.”
So seeing Spacey in the trailer — and “Keven Spacey as J. Paul Getty” emblazoned across the screen — came as quite a shock. “It was such an egregious error,” she said. “I guess nobody checked. After all the publicity and everything Ridley Scott had done to pull this off, and then to have this sneak by, it was very disappointing and shocking. It was such a huge glaring error.”