Embattled Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey has been dropped from Ridley Scott's new film just weeks from release - a decision that will cost the veteran director dearly.
Scott made the decision to cut out Spacey, who was to play J. Paul Getty in the autobiographical crime drama All The Money In The World, in the wake of the allegations of sexual misconduct levelled at the actor.
With the film set for release on December 22, the last-minute change means a massive scramble for Scott, who has recast Sound of Music star Christopher Plummer in the key role.
And with a massive scramble comes massive cost - Variety estimates that the recasting decision will add more than $US10 million to the film's $US40 million budget.
This late in the game, the costs involved run to much more than just reshooting Spacey's scenes: Posters with his name have been printed, movie trailers with his scenes are already screening in cinemas. All of that will need to be reprinted, recut, resent.
"Some marketers estimate that the creation of new trailers, posters, in-theatre standees, and additional advertising campaigns could total millions once rush fees and take-down costs are added up," Variety reports.
And Variety reports that the eye-watering cost is unlikely to be covered by insurance of any kind - a typical cast insurance policy covers illness, injury or death, not the public disgrace Spacey is currently weathering.
"This would be an out-of-pocket decision," entertainment risk management expert Angela Plasschaert told Variety. "The cost will be a lot, and I think it will be 100% the production's cost."
Plummer typically commands around $US250,000 - $400,000 for a featured supporting role in a film like this, however it's unclear whether the last-minute need for his services has upped his pay cheque.
A real-life story centred around oil tycoon J. Paul Getty's refusal to pay a kidnapper's ransom for his own grandson, All The Money In The World was always going to be a tough sell for audiences, and Ridley is understood to have thought that having Spacey's name on the poster would harm the film's chances of critical praise and the sort of award show buzz that could encourage viewers to see it.
Plummer will film his scenes during the next two weeks, with a goal date of December 15 to get his scenes finished and re-edited into the film. That's just one week before it's released to cinemas, at a much higher cost than its original budget.