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Director Lynne Ramsay quits Natalie Portman-led western Jane Got A Gun on first day of filming

03.19.2013

Wow. Didn't see this one coming. Apparently, JANE DON'T GOT A GUN. On the day that production was to begin on the Natalie Portman-led western JANE GOT A GUN, director Lynne Ramsay, best known for 2011's WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, decided to quit the project by simply not showing up.  The director has been attached to the project from the start, which is based on a blacklist script by Brian Duffield.  Her motives are unclear at this time, but producer Scott Steindorff has confirmed that Ramsay has left the film, saying he is "determined to hold the picture together until they set a new director" which he expects to happen "immenently."

“I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast,” Steindorff told Deadline. “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.”

Ramsay has a pay or play deal, which means she gets paid whether the film is shot or not, although you can surely expect that legal action will be taken.  Steindorff commented, saying:

“She 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.”

Pretty crazy, right?  I don't think I've ever heard of a director not showing up for work like this, although I know there are plenty of walk offs during productions that we rarely hear about.  This is a strange case indeed.  I'm sure there's more to the story, but at this juncture it just feels like a really unprofessional move by Ramsay.  The production recently swapped out Michael Fassbender and added Jude Law due to scheduling conflicts, but it's unclear if that has anything to do with Ramsay's sudden departure.

JANE GOT A GUN, starring Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Joel Edgerton, and Rodrigo Santoro, is currently scheduled for a 2014 release and it's likely they'll find someone to fill Ramsay's shoes rather quickly.  More as this develops.

Extra Tidbit: Who would be a good last minute choice to step in for Ramsay?
Source: Deadline

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