Earlier in the year, when trailers for movie destined for year-end screenings were first being shown, one drew particular interest.
But the trailer also featured Michelle Williams. And as it quickly made clear, the film — buoyed by the effective use of the song "Time of the Season" — was both a family and crime drama, one revolving around the real-life story of the kidnapped grandson of the world's richest man.
Check that. Not just the world's richest man. But as the trailer claimed, the richest man "in the history of the world." Or something like that.
And the biggest surprise came at the end when we discovered just who was playing that man, the late oil magnate J. Paul Getty. None other than Kevin Spacey, hidden under a heavy layer of makeup and prosthetics.
Fast forward a few weeks. And suddenly a new trailer for the movie begins screening. And suddenly Spacey is nowhere to be seen. Now Getty is being played by Christopher Plummer, who at 88 needed hardly any makeup at all to play the role.
And backed by a generic, pulsing soundtrack, the feel of the trailer is much closer to a simple action flick. Mark Wahlberg, just that fast, seems far more appropriate.
What happened? Well, the Harvey Weinstein scandal happened. And fairly quickly other Hollywood heavyweights were affected by similar accusations, and one of those was Spacey.
So Ridley Scott, director and producer of the film, acted — deciding to replace Spacey, recast with Plummer and remake the film in an incredibly short time so as to make its opening date (which in Spokane will be Christmas Day).
You can find versions of the whole story in various online locations. Click here to get the New York Times article.
Also, watch the video embedded below, which shows the contrast between the two trailers — and see how different they are. Especially how different the whole feel is.
Then decide which you prefer.