They say “There’s no such thing as bad press,” but I’m not so sure it’s true in this case as seemingly doomed indie film Jane Got A Gun not only lost its original director but another of its stars has taken a walk as well.
Tuesday, Deadline Hollywood reported director Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin) failed to show up to set in Santa Fe this last Monday for first day of shooting on the film (written by Brian Duffield) about a woman whose outlaw husband comes home mortally wounded and fearing the gang who did the deed will return and destroy the family farm, she turns to an ex she hasn’t seen in 10 years to help her defend said farm while her husband heals.
When it was evident Ramsay was not only NOT coming to set on Monday but not coming back AT ALL, producer and financier Scott Steindorff (Scott Pictures) found himself gathering the film’s cast that includes stars Natalie Portman (who also serves as one of the film’s producers), Joel Edgerton, Jude Law and Rodrigo Santoro to apprise them of Ramsay’s departure and assured the cast that they WILL move on with the picture and will find a new director immediately.
While it’s fairly commonplace for directors to walk from a film early on in the pre-production process over creative differences, scheduling conflicts or personal tragedies, it’s a pretty BIG deal when a director walks on the FIRST DAY of shooting.
In an exclusive statement to Deadline, Steindorff said that “I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast. I’m shocked and so disappointed someone would do this to 150 crew members who devoted so much time, energy, commitment and loyalty to a project, and then have the director not show up. It is insane somebody would do this to other people. I feel more for the crew and their families, but we are keeping the show going on, directors are flying in, and a replacement is imminent.”
When asked about legal options, Steindorff continued with “She (Ramsay) was pay or play, and Marty Singer has been retained. My focus is on making this movie, but I will protect all my rights. This comes down to an irresponsible act by one person.”
But wait, there’s more!
Yesterday, Deadline was back with the news that writer/director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, Miracle, and exec producer on FX’s The Americans) has stepped in to replace Ramsay as director and the film would start shooting today (Thursday).
WHEW, right? Nope.
Within HOURS of the news that O’Connor was in, star Jude Law said “I’m out.”
Word on the street is that Law only signed on to work with Ramsay and now that Ramsay’s backed out, so has Law. Law’s the second high profile star to bow out of Jane Got A Gun; X-Men star Michael Fassbender exited (presumably) due to a scheduling conflict between Jane and X-Men: Days Of Future Past and was then replaced by Joel Edgerton, who’d worked with O’Connor in the aforementioned Warrior.
Both Ramsay and Law have declined making any kind of public statement thus far but I’m sure the entire industry is wondering just what in the Sam Hill is going on around here.
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