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We Need To Talk About The Director: Lynne Ramsay Quits ‘Jane Got A Gun’ On First Day Of Production

We Need To Talk About The Director: Lynne Ramsay Quits 'Jane Got A Gun' On First Day Of Production

While it took nearly a decade for Lynne Ramsay to deliver “We Need To Talk About Kevin,” her third feature following 2002’s “Morvern Callar,” things seemed to be moving swimmingly for her foray into the western genre with “Jane Got A Gun.” Natalie Portman signed on last spring, and the film quickly assembled a top-shelf cast including Joel Edgerton, Rodrigo Santoro and Michael Fassbender. But a week before production was to start, surprising news arrived that Fassbender has exited the movie, with Edgerton taking his role instead, and Jude Law filling in the gap in the cast. And while “scheduling” with “X-Men: Days Of Future Past” was blamed (it actually doesn’t start shooting for a few weeks yet), was it the first sign of trouble on the horizon?

We’re sure there’s much more to come, but for now, Deadline reports that Ramsay herself has exited the movie, and hasn’t shown up on set for the first day of production which was supposed to be today. So far, the only side of the story being heard is from producer Scott Steindorff of Scott Pictures, and naturally he’s shocked and angry. “I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast,” Steindorff said to 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.”

The producer notes that Ramsay has a pay-or-play deal, and that he’s looking at his legal options, but he insists the movie will shoot as they are scrambling to find a replacement director. But here’s the thing: unless Ramsay truly inexplicably bailed, whatever the reasons for her departure, it must have been something brewing behind-the-scenes for a while to force such a drastic action. And as it tends to go with these sorts of things, this is probably only the start of the details that will emerge.

Either way, it will be interesting to see if a director does sub in — we’d imagine it will have to someone of particular calibre to keep the involvement of Portman, who tends to be selective. And it will be a pretty ugly gig to step into, not only with the production in disarray, but with all the prep work being done for the distinct vision of another filmmaker entirely. Much more to come undoubtedly, but our dream of a Ramsay-directed western is on hold for now.

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Justin Thaler

Fine… I will do it.

Julia Chasman

What I'm wondering about is the level of experience of the producer — and why he is repped by his daughter, and why she was also representing the director, a Brit, who probably didn't have an American manager before this project got underway (and now won't want one again). I haven't done any research on this, but I know a bit about Scott Steindorff, and I think it just needs to be said that he is one of the many people who have bought their way into Hollywood. In his case he created a career around optioning important literary works, and then attaching himself as producer when more seasoned types wanted to adapt those works. That's a time-honored method, and no law against it…..but it's also no real path to gathering experience for being a hands-on producer. Maybe by now he has gathered that experience, as much as anyone else, but there are two main behind the camera roles on a film in pre-production: the director and the producer. So, at the very least, the producer here failed to keep his production together, and must bear part of the blame for those crew and cast members who lost money by the push-back.


John Hillcoat could direct this western in his sleep.

Alan B

This project needs someone smart, capable director who can get the production back on track whilst also bringing an interesting style/approach to the genre: Walter Hill, John Dahl, Brad Anderson, Nash Edgerton, Timothy Van Patten, Phillip Noyce, Paul Verhoeven, William Friedkin, Rupert Wyatt, Nicholas Meyer etc.


oh god
i wish she has directed THE LOVELY BONES instead of peter jackson
anybody who saw we need to talk about kevin knows exactly what i mean


No, Todd Field shouldn't direct this film. He is too closed off. This film requires expansiveness, like Jared Moshe.


Todd Field will be a great option for this film


ah, the i-feel-for-these-poor-folks-families line. good one. i have a feeling there's a lot more to her side than disappointing so many crew members and their families.


Something never sat right about this project. The idea of Ramsey directing some kind of hip western was just wrong and nothing about the story suggested this was anything more interesting than your average western.


Screen Daily claims that Fassbender left the project because of conflicts with Ramsay.


I just got a new Hero.


Since no one wants the job, I guess I'll do it.



Such unprofessional behaviour from Ramsey. I feel so sorry for everyone else involved with the project. This is a very difficult position to put them in. Unless it's due to serious personal or health issues there is no excuse for not even being gracious enough to turn up on the first day. Portman fought very hard to get Ramsey on the project and Portman has been a very vocal supporter of woman filmmakers (she also championed Patty Jenkins for Thor 2) . From a female perspective it's very disappointing for Ramsey to behave this way when there are few enough chances for women in Hollywood as it is.


People should not criticize Ramsay, we don't know the reason behind her action. Maybe she lost a dear one. Please people be less judgemental and let's remember that we are all here because we love cinema


Regardless of what the true story behind the production is, I'm REALLY disappointed in Lynn Ramsay. Even if she is unhappy with the way the project has been going this is without a doubt the most unprofessional way possible to handle the issue.

oogle monster

So can Patty Jenkins swoop in? How perfect would that be?


Wow, this is awful, not just for film fans, but the whole crew. A director for hire on the very first day of shooting who hasn't been stepping along with the growth of the script, crew, getting the beats of the actors during pre-production. This is insane. But …. someone get Todd Field, stat!


This sucks. I love Ramsay, but if she keeps pulling this recalcitrant-to-money/authority thing, then she might as well just go back to the arthouse ghetto where we can actually enjoy her work on a regular basis.

This is so unprofessional though, my respect for her is greatly diminished. I don't care what kind of bullshit was flying around in pre-production, but this is just something you never do, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's a complete career-ender for her.



'Portman, who tends to be selective.' lol uhh no.


Whoa that's crazy who does that?


This sucks! I was so looking forward to this. Now I've lost interest.


Vincent Gallo should step up to the plate and direct.


My first thought when I saw this news was that "scheduling" was NOT the reason for the Fassbender drop out.


or Portman can be involved in her exit :remember the stories with Portman on Thor 2's director
BUT it's very weird!

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