Deadline reported yesterday that director Lynne Ramsay had quit Jane Got a Gun which is to star Natalie Portman the morning production was to have begun — Tuesday in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
This comes a couple of weeks after actor Michael Fassbender had left (either because of scheduling or because of conflicts with the director- it is not clear) and was replaced by Jude Law.
Ramsay has spent months developing this film so it is strange to everyone that she would not just so up for work. Producer and money man Scott Steindorff was the only one speaking on the record and said the following:
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 new director was so imminent that it took less that a day for them to hire Warrior director Gavin Hood O’Connor to take over the film and start to shoot on Thursday.
No matter which way you cut this, this is not good news. While we still don’t know the truth of what happened, the fact that they could hire and have another director on the set in two days makes me think that conversations had to have been happening before Tuesday morning the day she was supposed to start shooting. And we also know that directors start working way before the shoot actually starts, so things had to have been souring over time. If she hadn’t been doing prep the film wouldn’t have been ready to shoot.
I’m not going to trash Lynne Ramsay (which some people are already doing) or by extension all women directors (as some of the commenters are in the Deadline story) for a movie that fell apart. These things happen and they suck. She’s not getting the benefit of the doubt because the story has been spun as of now by the producer whose job it was to get the film back on track.
I hope that we get something from Ramsay’s camp or even Natalie Portman — the star and producer — who won’t get her opportunity to work with a female director as she has been wanting to do for some time.
Bottom line is that a female director was about to start a relatively high profile movie with $25 million budget and an Academy Award winning actress and now that has fallen apart. In my book, this is not welcome news. If anyone has any real information, please let us know.