Director Lynne Ramsay Abandons ‘Jane Got a Gun’ on First Day of Shooting

Producers Natalie Portman and Scott Steindorff are frantically seeking a replacement director to keep the project afloat.

Lynne Ramsay abruptly drops out of Jane Got a Gun on the first day of shooting
Lynne Ramsay abruptly drops out of Jane Got a Gun on the first day of shooting
In what has to be a Hollywood first, director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) surprisingly dropped out of the Western Jane Got a Gun by simply not showing up for work on the first day of production yesterday. The film's producers, including star Natalie Portman and Scott Steindorff are currently scrambling to find a replacement. Here's what Scott Steindorff had to say in a statement.

"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."

The producer also added that he has retained lawyer Marty Singer to explore legal ramifications of her actions.

"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."

Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Jude Law, and Rodrigo Santoro star in this Western, written by Brian Duffield, about a wife (Natalie Portman) whose husband returns home, barely alive after being shot eight times. She seeks the help of an ex-lover to defend her home when the gang of outlaws who shot her husband comes to finish what they started

Instead of shooting as planned on the Santa Fe, New Mexico set yesterday, the cast and crew spent the day rehearsing. The producers plan on keeping the film afloat until a new director can be found.

Jane Got a Gun comes to theaters September 4th, 2015 and stars Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Rodrigo Santoro, Noah Emmerich, Boyd Holbrook, Alex Manette, Todd Stashwick, James Burnett. The film is directed by Gavin O'Connor.

Sources: Deadline

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Comments (23)

  1. thedude-abides

    @ejk1 Agreed, but who knows.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  2. ejk1

    @thedude-abides Sadly, I don't think she is in a position to get a stipulation like that in a contract. She just doesn't have the record of success one might expect to earn that type of deal.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  3. thedude-abides

    @ejk1 That's what I mean -- I'm assuming she had something in her contract that stipulated her having creative control over the producers, something many established directors have nowadays. Otherwise, I'm right there with ya. I just have a hard time invisioning someone with a future as bright as hers throwing it all away unless she felt vindicated, especially legally, in doing so.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  4. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Better to say "I refuse to take orders from an actress" than allow the sh*t to hit the fan

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  5. ejk1

    @thedude-abides She wasn't released from her contract, at least from all indications from above. Unless she had a clause inserted into her contract that Portman and other producers could not interfere with her job, or another type of clause that would have made the contract void or voidable, Ramsay's basically left without a paddle. There would be no misrepresentation defense for her to assert. She cannot claim undue influence or duress unless her bosses were trying to remove her from the job, an unlikely scenario, given the timing and the information in the article. As far as her telling studio that she didn't want to deal with an actress calling shots on production, well, as my Civ Pro teacher says, "Too bad, so sad." Once she signed the contract, she knew what she was getting into. If Ramsey knew Portman was a producer on the film, and then signed on to direct, she likely has no "meeting of the minds" defense.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  6. thedude-abides

    @bawnian-dexeus It's the most obvious scenario, in my mind.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  7. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    @thedude-abides You basically summed up every concrete realistic scenarion in this case. Agreed

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  8. Bill Lyne

    Good thing Ramsay bailed now, rather than a week later. Good riddance. A better director will see this as a great opportunity to step into. The cast changes should also work for the better. We'll see.

    2 years agoby @Bill-LyneFlag

  9. SherlockHolmes2009

    Damn she really f*cked up her career

    2 years agoby @SherlockHolmes2009Flag

  10. thedude-abides

    I mean, is it out of realm of f*cking possibility that Natalie Portman, a producer for the film, was overstepping her bounds all throughout the stages of pre-production? Is it plausible, at least, that Ramsay let her feelings be known to the studio and other producers long before walking off set that if she was going to have to deal with an actress calling shots during production because said actress had some sort of equity in the film that she was going to walk?

    Breach of contract is one thing, but Ramsay was pay-or-play, which states that remuneration is guaranteed if, through no fault of their own, the person is released from their contract. Given this scenario I've laid out, I'm sure Ramsay could make the case that it was others on set who were overstepping their bounds, which forced her hand to do what she did.

    Bottom line, no one knows what happened, so let's stop vilifying Ramsay just yet. My guess is, there's much more to this story than what little we've read thus far.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  11. thedude-abides

    @narrator There's no two ways about it. A film with this cast and of this caliber would have been her coming out. Now she stands never to direct another notable film for the rest of her career. You don't go from one extreme to another like that without it being prompted by some sort of action or actions that sought immediate redress, and sometimes walking away is the best solution, in any scenario.

    When this kind of stuff happens, especially in the workplace, it tends to be for very, very good reason. And if that's the case, and if there is good reason as to why it happened, I would be more concerned about her pursuing legal action than the studio/producers -- if that's the case.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  12. Youngrizo

    I had actually not heard of her before this, and had to look up her work... she does not have anything really that should warrant this kind of behavior in any capacity... it's so odd

    2 years agoby @youngrizoFlag

  13. the Narrator

    @thedude-abides There had to be some real sh*t going on behind the scenes. I see no reason for a director like Ramsay to just walk off a project like this.

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

  14. ejk1

    @youngrizo Of course. That's how lawsuits occur.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  15. Youngrizo

    People who do this still exist?

    2 years agoby @youngrizoFlag

  16. ejk1

    Lawsuits abound here. This is my type of story.

    2 years agoby @ejk1Flag

  17. thedude-abides

    @bawnian-dexeus My thoughts exactly.

    @narrator Agreed. Something must have happened.

    2 years agoby @thedude-abidesFlag

  18. ridgl

    Wow and I thought Aaronofsky jumping ship 3 months before shooting was a dick move.

    2 years agoby @ridglFlag

  19. Bawnian©-Dexeus

    Good like finding more work

    2 years agoby @bawnian-dexeusFlag

  20. the Narrator

    Holy sh*t. What happened here?

    2 years agoby @narratorFlag

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