Mike Fleming

UPDATE: Bradley Cooper has confirmed his exit from Jane Got A Gun, and he has offered this statement: “Regretfully, due to date conflicts between the film I an currently shooting for David O Russell and Jane Got A Gun, I am unable to join Natalie, Joel, Noah and Gavin on this truly exciting project. I was really looking forward to being a part of it and hope to work with each and every one in the future.”

EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 5:17 pm PDT: It is proving hard for the makers of Jane Got A Gun to find a good outlaw. Bradley Cooper, who had agreed to replace Jude Law opposite Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton in the Gavin O’Connor-directed Western, has had to exit a film that is well into production. The filmmakers are working hard to replace him, and are courting a short list of actors that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tom Hiddleston. Cooper signed on to play the gang leader who will come to kill an outlaw colleague (The AmericansNoah Emmerich) who got shot and headed home. That unfortunate homecoming prompts his estranged wife (Portman) to lean on a former lover (Edgerton) to stand up to the bad guy to save her farm. Unfortunately, Cooper is shooting David O Russell’s American Hustle, and the schedule in Boston got messed up by the terrorist bombing that took place at the Boston Marathon. Between that, and his media obligations on The Hangover Part III, Cooper could not do the movie. This marks the latest bit of adversity on the Western, but it’s not as bad as when director Lynne Ramsay exited the film the night before production began over a number of issues. O’Connor signed on to replace her within a week, and producers Portman, Scott Steindorff and Aleen Keshishian have managed to keep the picture on course, when many films in the same situation would have folded. Losing Cooper sucks for sure, but the bad guy doesn’t shoot scenes until June, so they shouldn’t have too much trouble securing a solid actor by then.