In what must be one of the most left-field stories to come out of the industry in recent memory, We Need To Talk About Kevin
helmer Lynne Ramsay never showed up for the first day of production on
her new movie
, the Natalie Portman starring western Jane Got A Gun
delivered the news, stating that when the cast and crew arrived to set on Monday in Santa Fe, New Mexico, their director was a no show, and is now apparently off the project entirely. Portman, who is producing with Scott Steindorff is determined to keep the production on track (Deadline says the production still has cash flow, with actors rehearsing scenes), which means they must find a new director. Like. Yesterday.
Now we hear about filmmakers dropping out of projects all the time, but rarely do we have a director who developed a project and then walked the day shooting was to begin. If anything, creative differences can arise and divide above-the-line crew either well before principal photography in pre-production, or can finally hit sometime after in post. In this current situation it can be a little trickier as to understand why -- or how -- Ramsay left, especially since we just have one side of the story.
The Brian Duffield scripted project had been described as a grisly revenge/siege style throwback to the westerns of yore, with Portman's good girl Jane taking arms after her outlaw husband turns his back on his gang... only to get his spine pumped full of lead. Thinking that the gang will lay siege to her farm, Jane then enlists the help of an ex-lover in defending her home. Now, that all sounds pretty right on to me, and to have Ramsay -- a director with quite the brilliant eye -- on board was no doubt exciting. I mean Ramsay has painted some of the most bodacious fever dreams this side of critically acclaimed 21st century cinema, so for her to step into the saddle of a western... well it would have been something. For now, with just the basic facts and a single take from Steindorff, we'll just have to wait and see where this all goes.
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