Natalie Portman Western ‘Jane Got a Gun’ Loses Director on First Day of Filming

Published 2 years ago by , Updated March 20th, 2013 at 7:53 am,

Natalie Portman to star Jane Got a Gun  Natalie Portman Western Jane Got a Gun Loses Director on First Day of Filming

Actors and directors are known for attaching, detaching and occasionally even re-attaching themselves to projects during pre-production, but producer and star Natalie Portman’s western Jane Got a Gun (which began shooting yesterday) has found itself in an unprecedented situation: its director has abandoned ship on the first day of production, without even a warning.

Last week there were signs that all might not be going well on Jane, in the form of an update revealing that Michael Fassbender had left – due to a scheduling conflict between the film and X-Men: Days of Future Past – and Jude Law had joined the cast. In hindsight, such a major casting change-up being announced so close to the beginning of filming, well… it might’ve been a warning flag for trouble ahead.

The mystery right now concerns why, exactly, director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) failed to show up yesterday and begin filming Jane Got a Gun in Santa Fe. Scott Steindorff (The Lincoln Lawyer) is financing the movie and has kept crew members working, as well as the cast rehearsing – all while the search (or, if you will, scramble) for a replacement director takes place.

Jane has been taking shape as a unique variation on the generally male-dominated western genre (save for something like True Grit). Ramsay was fresh off earning a healthy amount of critical praise for adapting We Need to Talk About Kevin, while the script from Brian Duffield had earned a spot on the Hollywood Black List of best un-produced screenplays.

joel edgerton jane got gun Natalie Portman Western Jane Got a Gun Loses Director on First Day of Filming

Joel Edgerton costars in ‘Jane Got a Gun’

Portman is co-headlining the film with Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty), who’s taking Fassbender’s previous spot as her ex-lover – the man who comes to her aid when Jane’s (dead? Near-dead?) husband’s old gang threatens her homestead. Law is playing the ruthless leader of those bandits; meanwhile, the supporting cast is rounded out by people like Rodrigo Santoro and Kristen Rakes (The Last Stand).

Here is the statement about Ramsay’s departure, issued by Steindorff:

“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 on the project, so her withdrawal of her own accord prevent any due payment demands (Steindorff is keeping the litigator Marty Singer onboard, just in case things get ugly). Whatever the reason for Ramsay leaving – be it creative differences or unexpected personal problems – it’s a difficult situation for all concerned.

If nothing else, at least the rug hasn’t been completely pulled out from beneath the collective staff’s feet (translation: they still have a job).


More on the Jane Got a Gun situation as the story develops.

Source: Deadline

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  1. Really weird. I’m bummed out Fassbender had to drop out. I was looking forward to seeing him and Portman work together.

    Hope they can find a replacement director soon. I thought this had potential to be something really good.

  2. Sorry, I find this hilarious. I’m not a huge Portman fan so this kind of thing just makes me chuckle.

  3. “Jane Got a Gun, But No Director”

    • Brilliant.

  4. Oh, all right. *sigh* I’ll just finish my tea and I’ll be right over.

    • +1

      • Applause…

    • Quick thinking. ;)

  5. well that sucks… I’ve liked Portmans stuff in the past.. especially Garden State and everything after that. Fassbender too, that dude rocks in all his movies. Too bad he only has time to be Magneto and the director walked out.

  6. So she didn’t show up the day after St. Patrick’s day…I wonder what happened. ;)

    • hahaha good point

    • Lol he better have a good reason or his days in hollywood will have been short. Making rich enemies, people that finance films and produce them, is career suicide.

      • HER

    • Does the word (bender) have any meaning?

      • Futurama?

        • My bad.. Her.

  7. The director’s not really gone, but just trying to make it seem that way to stir up a feeling a chaos in her cast – the type of chaos their characters in the script feel. This way, she’ll get authentic performances. She’ll be back tomorrow.

    • lmao

    • That would be epic.

  8. Good grief. Keeping fingers crossed for cast and crew. A real nail biter.

  9. The Lindsay Lohan of directors?

    • Depends… Did a few cameras dispear from the set? Lol

  10. Rather than rushing in a director at this late date–what an impossible assignment!–they should take a breath, reschedule, maybe get Fassbender back, and try to make a terrific movie, as the script indicates this could be. Of course it’s easy for me to say; it isn’t my money!

    • In a perfect world yes but sadly people have been mobilize to shoot the film now, schedules are important as people move from movie to movie and try to pack in as much as possible, camera, lighting people etc it they not working now and depended on the revenue made off this movie thats a serious blow to their incomes.

  11. am I missing something or does this article say that fassbender is being replaced by 2 different actors? “Michael Fassbender had left – due to a scheduling conflict between the film and X-Men: Days of Future Past – and had been replaced by Jude Law.” “Joel Edgerton (Zero Dark Thirty), who’s taking Fassbender’s previous spot ” Which one is it?

    • My apologies, I worded that incorrectly before (I’ve changed it since). Edgerton is assuming the role that Fassbender was going to play, while Law is taking the role that Edgerton was going to play BEFORE Fassbender left.

      • Musical chairs! Hehe though this is rather wild, if you get updates pls update the story, I’m very interested in how this develops and what the reasons were for the director to back out in such fashion? Producer vs director friction seems logical since even something of a personal matter one would notify her employer I would think.

      • I was under the assumption that it takes 2 actors to replace Fassbender.

        • Lol

  12. You can’t replace Fassbender, you can only succeed him lol