When I say "new movie coming out," I don't mean the movie is being made. The movie has already been made. It's listed on IMDb as "completed." They're taking a movie that's done, yanking an actor from it, and re-shooting his scenes.
Not because Spacey didn't do a good job.
Not because Spacey turned out to have poor chemistry with the rest of the cast.
Not because the movie will be better with Plummer than with Spacey.
Because Spacey is accused (credibly) of doing Bad Things off-screen.
From TriStar's statement:
There are over 800 other actors, writers, artists, craftspeople and crew who worked tirelessly and ethically on this film, some for years, including one of cinema's master directors. It would be a gross injustice to punish all of them for the wrongdoings of one supporting actor in the film.
Yes, it would be. So why is TriStar doing it?
A whole bunch of people worked very hard to make a film, and now instead of releasing the film they made, TriStar is turning it into a different film, fucking around with a very expensive piece of art for cheap virtue signaling purposes.
It's not just Sony/TriStar. Netflix has a biopic of Gore Vidal in post-production. Starring, you guessed it, Kevin Spacey. I don't walk the floor at night waiting for movies, but this happens to be one I've vaguely remembered and looked forward to since hearing about it. And now they're publicly wringing their hands about whether or not to release it.
I've been a Netflix customer for pretty much as long as there's been a Netflix, and I think the other day was the first time I've ever contacted them directly about a non-technical issue (for that matter, I don't recall any technical issues, either). Summarized content:
OF COURSE YOU SHOULD RELEASE THE FUCKING FILM, DUMBASSES.
If Kevin Spacey is a problem for people to work with because he won't keep his hands to himself and his pecker in his pants, fine, let this be the end of his career as an actor.
If some movie fans base their ticket-buying and viewing habits on their judgment of an actor's moral fitness rather than on the quality of the product, well, okay, that's the market speaking in the form of social preferencing.
But re-shooting scenes to remove him from completed films, and not releasing films because he's in them? That's stupid.