Written By: Nick Poulimenakos
It may not be the biggest film to be released in 2017 but Ridley Scott’s All The Money in the World is becoming one of the most talked about. When news broke about Kevin Spacey’s history with sexual abuse, Ridley Scott made the massive decision to recast his character a month ahead of the release date. Christopher Plummer then signed on to play J. Paul Getty and reshoots were ordered. Reports came out saying that both leads, Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg returned to work the shoot for free. Now, it is being said that Wahlberg actually was paid $1.5 million while Williams only worked for a small per diem. This may seem like blatantly sexism but according to a new report by The Wrap, it is much more complicated than that and it has everything to do with contracts.
Both Williams and Wahlberg are repped by WME. The issue here is that two different teams from the company negotiated each actor’s contracts for the film. When Michelle Williams signed on, her contract did in fact include reshoots. Mark Wahlberg on the other hand, did not have reshoots included, meaning that when he returned, he was able to renegotiate for more money.
Additionally, TMZ is stating that Michelle Williams was the first person approaced by the studio for reshoots, meaning that she must have negotiated her return before anything else. Williams reportedly stated that she was willing to “move mountains” to make the reshoots work because she believed in the project. After her, Wahlberg was approached but his team made it clear that he doesn’t work for free. This is where the eventual pay discrepancy came in. Apparently, the film was only greenlit because Wahlberg took an initial pay cut.
After this, Ridley Scott came out and spoke about how the actors were nice enough to come back and work for free. Rumor has it that he is furious about how everything is coming off but no one has made an official statement regarding the matter.
So, what does all of this mean? Well, it would seem that the pay disparity wasn’t intentionally blatant sexism. Hollywood’s wage gap has been apparent for years, even getting a major spotlight for David O. Russel’s American Hustle. The contracts both Williams and Wahlberg negotiated led to this controversy. Regardless, it is a miracle on its own that the film ended up making its release date at all. We will just have to wait and see if anyone from the cast and crew make an actual statement on this issue.
All The Money in the World is in theatres everywhere now.