Kevin Spacey Isn’t the Only Star Whose Bad Behavior Changed the Course of a Movie
Hollywood is in crisis as celebrity after celebrity faces accusation of sexual misconduct, from Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey. Many of these men whose careers are brought down by allegations are quite prolific, and so as they are driven out of the industry, they leave behind unreleased films that are forever tarnished by their involvement.
Already over the past month, we’ve seen instances of movies getting either canceled entirely or changed because a key star faced accusations of sexual misconduct. But this isn’t the first time that movies have been affected — whether in reception or literal alteration — by to the behavior of those involved with their production.
In some cases, producers made changes after accusations of illegal conduct were leveled at a star involved. Other times, it’s just unprofessional work conduct that got a person booted off set. Either way, here are some instances of stars whose behavior changed the course of a movie.
1. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World
In late October 2017, actor Anthony Rapp alleged that Kevin Spacey made a sexual advance towards him when he was 14. In the aftermath of this story, more men came forward with accusations. Spacey’s fall from grace was swift, but at first, it remained unclear what would happen to his pending projects.
Sony Pictures, in particular, was in a jam, as Spacey starred in their new movie All the Money in the World, set to open on Dec. 22. Sony first decided to cancel the film’s premiere at AFI Fest, but said in a statement that it would still release the film in theaters in December. The studio argued a movie is the collective work of thousands of people who shouldn’t be punished because of the behavior of one supporting actor.
But director Ridley Scott evidently wasn’t satisfied with this. On Nov. 8, Deadline reported that Scott planned to instead remove Spacey from the movie and reshoot all of his scenes with a different actor: Christopher Plummer. And amazingly, the duo pulled off the move so well that Plummer was even nominated for an Oscar for his role.
2. Louis C.K., I Love You, Daddy
The news that Louis C.K. had directed a new movie, I Love You, Daddy, about a prominent filmmaker who preys on young women and features multiple jokes about rape and masturbation, raised some eyebrows. There have been rumors for years about the comedian’s alleged sexual misconduct, in which he reportedly invited women to his hotel room only to begin masturbating in front of them without consent.
For years, these were just rumors. But then on Nov. 9, The New York Times published a story in which five women said that something similar happened to them. As his camp learned of the The New York Times story, they canceled the New York premiere of I Love You, Daddy, as well as the comedian’s planned appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
Less than 24 hours later, I Love You, Daddy‘s distributor, The Orchard, announced that they are not releasing the film at all. This is not an instance like All the Money in the World where the film can be salvaged in some way. I Love You, Daddy not only features the comedian as the main character, but he also wrote and directed it. Given these new allegations against its star, the public will likely never see the film. But considering its generally poor reviews, they may not have wanted to anyway.
3. Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation
At the beginning of 2016, The Birth of a Nation seemed like the kind of movie that could do quite well heading into awards season, potentially becoming a major player at the Oscars. At the Sundance Film Festival, it received a positive reaction and even won the Grand Jury Prize — one of the top awards at the festival previously given to Oscar-nominated movies like Whiplash, Beasts and the Southern Wild, and Precious.
But in August 2016, new attention was drawn to the fact that Parker faced accusations of rape in 1999 while a student at Pennsylvania State University. Parker claimed that the woman consented to having sex. Jean Celestin, Parker’s writing partner, also faced allegations of rape, and he was convicted, although the conviction was overturned. The woman later filed a formal complaint and said that Parker and Celestin had harassed her ever since she made her allegation. In 2012, she committed suicide.
This past allegation quickly became the story of The Birth of a Nation, especially seeing as the movie features a rape scene. The studio went into damage control, but Parker still fielded questions about his past all throughout awards season. The film ultimately flopped at the box office and didn’t earn a single Academy Award nomination.
The Birth of a Nation may have once been on the path to becoming a major contender for Best Picture, but due to Parker’s alleged misconduct coming back to haunt him, it was quickly forgotten.
4. Warren Beatty, Dick Tracy
Here’s an example where the course of a movie was changed after the firing of an actress — even though it wasn’t the actress whose behavior was terrible. In the hit 1990 film Dick Tracy, Sean Young apparently originally had the part of Dick Tracy’s love interest Tess Trueheart. But she claims she got fired from the movie after refusing Warren Beatty’s sexual advances. In addition to starring as the title character, Beatty also directed Dick Tracy.
Beatty denies this allegation. In 1989, he reportedly said, “I made a mistake casting Sean Young in the part and I felt very badly about it.” The role of Tess ended up going to actress Glenne Headly. Dick Tracy received mixed reviews from critics, but it became a hit at the box office.
It’s certainly interesting to ponder what the movie might look like with Sean Young in one of the lead roles. Losing out on a role like this may have been a factor in the outcome of Young’s career; the Blade Runner actress has not starred in a hit film in decades and didn’t appear in the recent sequel, Blade Runner 2049.
5. Andy Dick, Raising Buchanan
Comedian Andy Dick was removed from the upcoming film Raising Buchanan after at least four members of the production complained of sexual harassment, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The movie, scheduled to be released in May 2018, was apparently still in production when The Hollywood Reporter published its article. Though he reportedly only had a fairly small role, Dick had already started filming, so his firing likely delayed production.
In addition to the sexual harassment allegations, The Hollywood Reporter also reported that Dick showed up late on the first day of filming, hadn’t memorized his lines, and brought a friend who fell asleep and loudly snored while the cameras were rolling.
Almost immediately after the allegations, Dick was also fired from another film, Vampire Dad, set for release in October 2018.
6. Gary Glitter, Spice World
The 1997 film Spice World follows the pop group, the Spice Girls, with the group’s members playing themselves. The Spice Girls filmed a scene performing a song by rock star Gary Glitter in which Glitter makes a cameo, appearing on stage and singing with them. But not long before the movie hit theaters, Glitter was charged with possessing child pornography.
Obviously, the studio had a big problem on their hands here, and so they immediately got to work editing Glitter out of the movie. They recut the scene so that Glitter never appears, although they had a hard time getting around the fact that the girls sing one of his songs — a bit awkward to hear only weeks after Glitter faced these disturbing allegations.
The film’s editors reportedly considered taking out the entire song, but eventually decided to keep it in, according to Yahoo.
7. Harvey Weinstein, The Current War
After producer Harvey Weinstein faced accusations of sexual harassment or assault by over 60 women, this, of course, affected a number of films. Most notably, The Current War is a movie that, on paper, looked like it could be a major awards contender. After all, it’s a period piece based on a true story that stars Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role of a genius — a formula that worked fairly well for The Imitation Game.
But the movie was to be distributed by The Weinstein Company. In light of the Weinstein scandal, it was dropped from its November release. At this time, The Current War does not have a release date, but the fact that it’s not coming out in 2017 anymore meant it wasn’t a part of the 2018 Oscars, as had once been the hope.
To make matters worse, Weinstein was not just a distributor on the movie but was also involved in the editing process, according to Variety. So whenever the movie hits theaters, the Weinstein scandal will likely cast a cloud over the press tour, even after the removal of his name.
The Weinstein Company also had several other films on their schedule when the accusations came to light, including Paddington 2, an animated family film. Immediately after the Weinstein allegations surfaced, the production company started looking for a new American distributor, not wanting any association with Weinstein anymore. After a few weeks, it was finally picked up by Warner Bros.
8. Mark Salling, Gods and Secrets
In 2015, Glee actor Mark Salling was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography. Glee had already ended by that point, but the star had nabbed a role in the HBO mini-series Gods and Secrets. Immediately after the charges, director Adi Shankar expressed concern and said that if the allegation turned out to be accurate, he would cut Salling out of the movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Five months later, after the indictment of Salling, Shankar announced that he dropped Salling from the project. Salling had already shot his scenes, but the director decided that he would reshoot Salling’s entire role with another actor, paying for the reshoots himself.
“He has been cut from the mini-series, I will personally be paying for the reshoots, and I hope that Mark finds inner peace,” Shankar said in a statement to Variety. “Furthermore, a percentage of profits from the project will go to a charity for abused children.”
On Jan. 30, 2018, Salling was found deceased due to suicide by hanging.
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!