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Jane Got A Gun Gets Stood Up By Its Director. Seriously, Who Does That? (Updated: A Replacement Has Been Hired)

By Jodi Clager | Trade News | March 20, 2013 | Comments ()


Natalie-Portman-natalie-portman-4895493-1024-768.jpg

Perhaps you've read about Natalie Portman's next project, the Western Jane Got A Gun. Portman stars as Jane, a woman whose husband returns home shot up from a run-in with outlaws. Jane must then take up arms and turn to an ex-lover for help as she prepares to defend herself and her husband from the jerks coming to finish him off. It sounds benign enough, if not interesting or different.

What makes Portman's production newsworthy is the exit of Michael Fassbender from the role as her ex-lover. Joel Edgerton, originally cast in another role, then moved into the ex-lover role and Jude Law took Edgerton's vacated role. That was last week and yesterday was scheduled to be the first day of shooting with accomplished director Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin).

Ramsay just didn't show up.

A director with three films under her belt, films of high quality, just doesn't show up for work with Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Jude Law, and Rodrigo Santoro? An indie film where she has already been confirmed and worked through casting changes and all of the preperation that comes with directing a film? There has to be more to this story, but Ramsay is tight-lipped at the moment. Portman's fellow producer, Scott Steindorff, is most definitely not keeping quiet:

"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... My focus is on making this movie, but I will protect all my rights. This comes down to an irresponsible act by one person."

Seriously, who does this? Who just doesn't show up for work in an industry where it is difficult enough for a female director to be hired, especially when the film is this filled with big names? Ramsay couldn't let someone know before she skipped out on her duties and before the cast and crew arrived on set to find they didn't actually have a job to do? It's unprofessional, to say the least, and I am very interested in Ramsay's reasoning behind such a dramatic exit.

(H/T SlashFilm)


UPDATE: Warrior director Gavin O'Connor has been hired to replace Ramsay.

UPDATE 2: Upon reaching Lynne Ramsay's manager, Huffington Post learned the director is was represented by producer Scott Steindorff's daughter. Jessica Steindorff has sided with her father in the matter.

UPDATE 3 Jude Law has now formally exited production, likely because he signed on to work with Ramsay and not O'Conner. (Deadline)


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Less Lee Moore

    "The point is not to what degree Lynne Ramsay is culpable in this
    case—not that it’s really the purview of bloggers to decide what is or
    is not ethical on a movie set anyway—but the degree to which our
    discussion of Lynne Ramsay’s actions, and in particular actions
    perceived to be damaging to her career, is steeped in the language of
    sexism and oppression, even if quite unintentionally."

    From here: http://www.film.com/movies/fem...

  • rumcove

    One stupid thing that everyone should be blaming themselves on is having the director represented by the producer's daughter. That's about as stupid as it gets on both sides.

  • $27019454

    See, I think Lindsay Lohan could have pulled this off you guys. Totally. The PLANE had mechanical issues, you guys. I TRIED to get there, you guys, I totally did, you guys, but I woke up, like in this PLACE and I could NOT fucking find my panties. I'm SO serious. Just POOF gone. No panties. So I bailed and got a cab but you guys, the cab driver was totally like from another like country! He could not understand anything i was SAYING! SO pissed. UGH. So anyways, then my mom calls and is all I NEED CASH and THERE'S A PACKAGE HERE FOR YOU and would NOT get off the phone. FUCK! So I bailed and checked into Chateau M and fucking room service took forfucking EVER. But there's this roach, right? In the bottom of my purse, right? SCORE! So I chilled and then I called that producer guy and told him I'd be there like FIRST thing tomorrow and he totally hung UP on me. Fucking JERK! I mean, WHO DOES THAT? Rude!

  • Man, what a dick move for a director to make. I bet David O. Russell is seething with jealous rage right about now.

  • Strand

    So basically she pulled a Linda from The Wedding Singer. What a bitch.

  • bleujayone

    Short of an emergency hospitalization or sudden death in the family, Lynne Ramsay's flake-out basically screwed her career. And even in those situations, in this day and age of instant communication there really isn't an excuse of leaving other people in the lurch. Any other reason probably wouldn't wash. Directors in the past have walked off projects they were attached to at the last second or even at times in the middle of production, but they still manage to tell someone "I quit!" Getting jobs in Hollywood are few and far between for anyone, but a poor work reputation would be all but a career death sentence.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    A severe bout of depression is a another possibility.

  • bleujayone

    Would that not qualify as a possible aforementioned medical emergency that would require immediate attention? To be fair I know some people do not put physical health and mental health in the same category.

  • Fabius_Maximus

    Not necessarily. People who suffer from that kind of deep depression are functional on other days. It may be that the whole "first day on set" was too much pressure for her, so she holed up at home.

    She would need help, of course, but not immediately.

  • QueeferSutherland

    Gavin O'Connor is a pretty solid replacement. How did they get him to jump on this troubled project with no notice?

  • Repo

    My guess is Joel Edgerton made a call, given their history on Warrior.

  • Long_Pig_Tailor

    Just checking, but... Like, we know she's alive right? Because someone just doesn't show in that kind of situation, first I'd be checking to make sure they're not dead.

  • Kris

    That was my first thought. Has anyone seen her in the past couple of days? Did someone go knock on her door to make sure she's okay?

  • Pinky McLadybits

    I think that her former rep, even if she is the daughter of the producer, would let people know if she was dead. Probably.

  • BlackRabbit

    Hollywood Weekend With Bernie's? (I retract this if she is, in fact, dead.)

  • I'd reserve judgement until we hear both sides of the story. I hope it doesn't become a "women directors" issue.

  • Karstark

    YES! I don't disagree with the idea but is it really relevant here? "Oh, I WAS going to blow off MAKING A MOVIE... but, I'm a woman. I better go."

    I would love to hear the director's actual reasoning though.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Yeah, that was the line in the writeup that bugged me.

  • Holly Martins

    The only reasons I can imagine are either drugs or a complete mental breakdown. I hope for her sake that I'm wrong.

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