Yes, that is Kevin Spacey beneath that getup and yes, All The Money In The World could be another Ridley Scott success very soon. The movie is based upon the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, the original Getty’s grandson, in the summer of 1973. At the time Getty Sr. had been labeled as the richest man alive and as such was considered a target by the kidnappers. For a short while there was suspicion that the grandson had colluded with the kidnappers to extort money from his grandfather, who was notoriously tight with his funds.
When the kidnappers demanded a $17 million ransom however Getty refused, denying them on the grounds that he did not deal with those that would spread this kind of fear would not stop once they got what they want. Copycats would inevitably crop up and threaten the rest of his grandchildren if they saw that he would pay out. His other reason was that by giving into terrorists and their like the chances of retaining a sense of order and law throughout the land would drop dramatically. He was in effect setting an example to follow that has not always been seen as the best path.
Eventually the kidnappers sent a package containing a lock of hair and a human ear, claiming they were his grandsons. Getty eventually paid out around $2.2 million, which was the limit for being tax deductible. After reading this part I had to read and reread it just to get the gist of it. While there’s no doubt that the Getty’s wanted their son and grandson back, the callousness of even thinking about a tax deductible amount is appalling. It’s understandable that those with vast fortunes didn’t manage to keep them by being foolish in any way, but the bottom line seems to need to be less of a concern when family is being threatened.
The grandson was eventually released and sent home, but experienced a tremendous amount of trauma that was the cause of his eventual drug addiction. He passed away in 2011 after spending much of his life paralyzed thanks to a stroke that was induced by a lethal amount of alcohol and drugs. Getty Sr. passed away only three years after the kidnapping in 1976.
As films go this seems to promise that it will be gritty, dark piece that will give a very in-depth look at Getty’s life and how he amassed his wealth before launching into the kidnapping in ’73. You have to wonder just how prominently Getty’s earlier years will be shown before the last few years that he had to live. The kidnapping portion is no doubt going to be used to dominate at least half if not more of the film, but the life of Getty should at least be featured as one of the main plot points just to get a feel of the man and all that he did.
The mere fact that this is Kevin Spacey beneath the mask is fairly impressive, but a look into the life of a man this wealthy should also be quite interesting.