There’s a new finish line on the Western’s long and dusty road to the big screen. Relativity today set a February 20 release date for Jane Got a Gun, which had been set for this summer and has been through three bad guys, two directors and one lawsuit. Natalie Portman stars as Jane, who rebuilds her life with new husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) after being tormented by an outlaw gang led by Collin (Ewan McGregor, who replaced Bradley Cooper, who had replaced Jude Law). But things get ugly again when the husband has a fresh run-in with the gang, leaving Jane little choice but to ask her ex-fiance (Joel Edgerton) for help. Gavin O’Connor directs the film, having taken over the chair after Lynne Ramsay exited the project on the first day of production.
EXCLUSIVE: WME has signed Gavin O’Connor, the writer-director of the superb generational fighter tale Warrior, the indie Tumbleweeds, cop drama Pride And Glory, and the U.S. Gold Medal-winning hockey team saga Miracle.
O’Connor most recently directed the pilot that launched the FX series The Americans, and he came on to save the day when he signed on to direct Jane Got A Gun, the drama that stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor and Rodrigo Santoro. Relativity acquired the Western for release and will open the film later this year. O’Connor had been at CAA.
The legal standoff between director Lynne Ramsay and the producers of Jane Got A Gun has ended in a draw, almost a year after the helmer abruptly left the pic on the first day of production. “Jane Got a Gun Production LLC and Lynne Ramsay announce the pending civil action and all other disputes between the parties associated with Jane Got a Gun Motion Picture have been resolved privately and to their mutual satisfaction,” the producers of the indie Western and Ramsay said today. While no details of a settlement are known, the plaintiffs last month halted their breach of contract and fraud complaint filed against Ramsay in federal court (read that order here). In the original filing last November, Jane Got A Gun Production sought an injunction to force Ramsay’s agency WME to hand back $360,000 it claimed was being held in escrow. They also asked for more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial for Ramsay’s conduct on the film and her quick exit before filming started.
Ramsay abruptly left Jane Got A Gun on March 18, 2013, after supposedly delaying the start of filming twice on the pic produced by and starring Natalie Portman. The producers said WME didn’t return their money despite “multiple requests” and that Ramsay told the agency not to hand over the cash. Soon after the complaint was filed, Ramsay said in a …
‘Jane Got A Gun’ Scribe Sets Directorial Debut ‘Vivien Hasn’t Been Herself Lately’ For Aldamisa & Before The Door
Aldamisa Entertainment is teaming up with Neal Dodson, Corey Moosa, and Zachary Quinto’s Before The Door Pictures to produce horror romance Vivien Hasn’t Been Herself Lately, from writer-director Brian Duffield. The project marks Duffield’s directorial debut after penning Black List script Your Bridesmaid’s A Bitch and Relativity’s Jane Got A Gun starring Natalie Portman. Vivien tracks a married couple struggling to survive against a supernatural entity and will be exec produced by Nicki Cortese, who brought the script to Aldamisa and Before the Door. Gersh and Circle of Confusion client Duffield is also writing Insurgent for Red Wagon and Summit and last year sold spec script Monster Problems to Paramount for Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps banner. Meanwhile, the Before the Door gang is up for four Indie Spirit Awards for JC Chandor’s All Is Lost and are reteaming with Chandor on his third pic, A Most Violent Year. The banner’s foray into genre includes horror pic Banshee Chapter, due out in January. Aldamisa productions Sin City 2 (The Weinstein Co.) and Chef (Open Road) will hit theaters in 2014. The company’s Jere Hausfater and Philip Elway negotiated the Vivien deal and EVP of Sales Eric Min will handle worldwide presales out of Berlin. Before the Door is repped by CAA and attorney …
Relativity has dated the resilient Natalie Portman-starrer for August 29. Gavin O’Connor was tapped to direct the indie Western following Lynne Ramsay’s controversial exit in March. Brian Duffield penned the screenplay. The film centers on Jane Hammond (Portman), who turns to her former lover Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) for help in defending her home and husband from the outlaw Bishop Boys gang. Ewan McGregor plays the villainous leader of the gang, a role he took over after Bradley Cooper pulled out. Jane Got A Gun will face off against Universal’s thriller The Loft and Lionsgate’s horror pic Jessabelle.
UPDATE, 10:51 AM: After the scathing lawsuit filed earlier this week against her by the producers of Jane Got A Gun, director Lynne Ramsay has responded. In a brief statement today, Ramsay’s reps says she hasn’t seen the suit yet but that from what has been reported, the claims in it are “simply false.” The director suddenly exited the Natalie Portman pic the weekend before filming was scheduled to start in New Mexico in March. If that wasn’t controversy enough, the breach of contract and fraud complaint (read more below) filed on in federal court on November 4 lashed out at Ramsay, calling her “abusive” and “disruptive.” The suit also goes after her for failing “to provide the writing and directing services” she was already paid $140,000 for before filming was set to start. Additionally, the suit alleges that Ramsay instructed her WME agents not to give the producers back the $360,000 that the agency is holding in escrow as part of her pay from the film. Ramsay was supposed to receive $750,000 for directing Jane Got A Gun plus bonuses. The complaint is seeking more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial. Here’s the full Ramsay statement from today:
Lynne Ramsay has not been served with this lawsuit and, when she is, she will respond in court and not in the media. That said, the allegations as recently reported are simply false. Lynne looks forward to presenting the truth about this situation in the proper forum.
PREVIOUSLY, NOV. 6 PM: She left the Natalie Portman Western in March before shooting was set to start and now the producers want Lynne Ramsay to pay up. More specifically, Jane Got A Gun Production, LLC wants an injunction to force Ramsay’s agency WME to give back $360,000 it claims is still being held in escrow as well as more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial. The breach of contract and fraud complaint (read it here) was filed earlier this week in federal court in New Mexico. Ramsay is the only defendant named in the filing that local station KRQE first reported. The producers, who include Scott Steindorff and Regency Boies, allege that under a contract agreed to in July 2012, Ramsay was initially paid $90,000 to direct the pic and $50,000 to fine-tune the Brian Duffield script. She was to receive $750,000 in total for her directing work on the pic plus 5% of adjusted gross and box office bonuses. Ramsay would have gotten another $25,000 for each Oscar or Golden Globe nomination the movie received and $50,000 more if it won one of those awards. However on location in New Mexico during early 2013 the complaint says the We Need To Talk About Kevin helmer “failed to provide the writing and directing services” on the film. The plaintiffs also claim that this “unreasonably delayed completion of a final budget for the Picture, and of the Picture itself.” Further more, they luridly allege in the 44-page complaint that Ramsay was “repeatedly under the influence of alcohol, was abusive to members of the cast and crew and was generally disruptive.” Portman herself and producer Aleen Keshishian are not party to the suit.
EXCLUSIVE: Relativity and The Weinstein Company are in advanced negotiations to team in the acquisition of U.S. distribution rights for Jane Got A Gun, the Western that is being directed by Gavin O’Connor and star Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Ewan McGregor, Noah Emmerich and Rodrigo Santoro. The deal is for a wide release but they haven’t finalized a slot for the film. CAA is brokering the deal. I hear CBS Films and Focus Features were also in the mix.
The film’s backers showed footage of the picture on Wednesday, and they were looking for a deal with no upfront money, a discounted distribution fee and a small equity percentage of the gross until the film’s overages are covered. Relativity was negotiating with JGAG producers and it became clear that Weinstein wanted a piece of the movie. Harvey Weinstein has a close relationship with David Boies, the hot shot attorney who is partner in Jane backer Straight Up Films. His daughter, Regency Boies, is a producer on the movie for Straight Up Films. Relativity will handle distribution, I’m told, and TWC is taking the lead on marketing the film, and they decided this would be a good strategic fit. The film is produced by Scott Steindorff, Portman and her Handsomecharlie Films, Aleen Keshishian, Terry Dougas, Scott LaStaiti and Straight Up Films’ Regency Boies.
EXCLUSIVE: The resilient indie Western Jane Got A Gun finally has its bad guy. Ewan McGregor is negotiating to play the pivotal role of the leader of an outlaw gang in the film that Gavin O’Connor is now directing. Natalie Portman plays the wife of an outlaw (Noah Emmerich) who leaves that gang after he gets shot up, and returns home. Knowing his former outlaw mates will come to finish him off and destroy her farm, Jane is forced to rekindle a relationship with a past love (Joel Edgerton), a capable gunman who can help her. This is the role that Jude Law originally was going to play, but he exited when original director Lynne Ramsay abruptly left the night before production began. After O’Connor came on to replace Ramsay behind the camera, they got Bradley Cooper to play the part, but his schedule is so impossibly busy — particularly after shooting got postponed on the David O Russell-directed American Hustle because of the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent city lockdown — that Cooper had to drop out. This was OK because the villain wasn’t scheduled to shoot until later into the production.
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 Americans‘ Noah 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 …
EXCLUSIVE: Noah Emmerich, whose work as a conflicted FBI agent has been a highlight of the FX Cold War series The Americans, has been set to play the final major lead role in Jane Got A Gun, the Gavin O’Connor-directed Western that stars Natalie Portman, Bradley Cooper and Joel Edgerton. Emmerich will play the outlaw husband of the title character (Portman) who is trying to keep her farm from going under. Knowing that his gang–led by a desperado played by Cooper–will come to kill her husband and destroy her farm, Jane hires her ex-lover (Edgerton) to stop them.
After that rough start when director Lynne Ramsay dropped out of the film the night before it went into production, Jane Got A Gun is several weeks into production. This will be the fifth film that Emmerich has made with O’Connor, after Tumbleweeds, Miracle, Pride And Glory, and Warrior (latter of which starred Edgerton). Emmerich also worked with O’Connor on The Americans; O’Connor directed the pilot for that freshman drama series, which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys. Emmerich also starred with Portman in the Ted Demme-directed Beautiful Girls, which proved to a breakout for both actors. Of course, Emmerich played a married guy and Portman played a kid in that film, but hey, she’s grown up and there will be a different dynamic in Jane Got A Gun.
Scripted by Brian Duffield, Jane Got A Gun is being …
EXCLUSIVE: Bradley Cooper is poised to join the cast of Jane Got A Gun, stepping in to play the bad guy role that Jude Law exited shortly after We Need To Talk About Kevin helmer Lynne Ramsay‘s abrupt exit. Cooper joins Natalie Portman and Joel Edgerton in the film that Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor took over.
Despite a tough start, the film is now two weeks into production. The producers, including Scott Steindorff, Portman, Terry Dougas and Aleen Keshishian, have pulled off a minor miracle here. As Deadline revealed exclusively, the cast and crew found out the morning of the first day of shooting that Ramsay had withdrawn from the film. They managed to keep the crew and cast from scattering until they could set O’Connor. Then Law exited, because he wanted to work with Ramsay. I’ve seen independent films fall apart with less adversity, but these guys persevered. They got the film started, but needed to find a replacement with someone with comparable value to Law in the overseas marketplace. They’ve overachieved in landing Cooper.
EXCLUSIVE: While the troubled independent feature Jane Got A Gun got a new director this morning in Gavin O’Connor, fallout continues from Monday’s abrupt exit of helmer Lynne Ramsay. I’m told that Jude Law has formally withdrawn from the film. It is because he signed on to work with Ramsay, best known for the edgy drama We Need To Talk About Kevin. The producers of Jane Got A Gun have tried to hold its cast together when Ramsay stepped out, and this is the second significant star to drop out in the past few weeks. Michael Fassbender also exited, ostensibly because of a scheduling clash with his upcoming X-Men movie; he was replaced by Joel Edgerton. The latter worked with O’Connor on Warrior, so I would imagine he’ll hang in, and the film’s star, Natalie Portman, is also a producer on the film. Ramsay has declined comment. I’ll tell you more when I hear it.
EXCLUSIVE: When We Need To Talk About Kevin helmer Lynne Ramsay pulled a no-show and dropped out of helming Jane Got A Gun on the first day of shooting, producer and financier Scott Steindorff said they were determined to set a new director quickly and keep the picture from falling apart. Well, it looks like they’ve gotten themselves a good one. A deal is closing with Gavin O’Connor, the writer-director of Warrior, Pride And Glory, Miracle and Tumbleweeds. O’Connor will get the picture underway Thursday.
Considering how fragile independently financed productions can be, this is fairly remarkable that Steindorff and his fellow producers including Natalie Portman and Aleen Keshishian have managed to keep this picture from falling apart, and prevent the cast and crew from leaving the Sante Fe set and scattering to the winds. As Deadline revealed exclusively yesterday, the production endured what has to go down as the worst first day of shooting in movie history, when Steindorff was forced to gather the crew and castmembers Portman, Joel Edgerton, Jude Law and Rodrigo Santoro to tell them that after nine months of developing the project, the director wasn’t showing up after a series of negotiating twists and turns took place over the weekend.
EXCLUSIVE: When the cast and crew of the indie drama Jane Got A Gun showed up for the first day of production Monday in Sante Fe, they learned that director Lynne Ramsay was a no-show and had abruptly dropped out of the film. Among those who learned of her exit yesterday were Natalie Portman, who stars in the film and is producing with Scott Steindorff, Joel Edgerton, Jude Law and Rodrigo Santoro. Steindorff, who is financing the picture through his Scott Pictures label, confirmed the crisis and said they are determined to hold the picture together until they set a new director. He said that would happen imminently.
A lot of filmmakers step off projects and we chalk it up to creative differences, but I can’t remember a situation when a filmmaker who developed a film didn’t show up for work on the day it starts production. Clearly there was drama the weekend before, but this is pretty shocking. Not surprisingly, Steindorff indicated that there is a high level of acrimony here. He said that Ramsay has a pay or play deal, and that he has also retained litigator Marty Singer to keep his options open. The crew is still showing up to work and the project is still being cash flowed, with actors rehearsing scenes.
“I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast,” Steindorff told 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.”
EXCLUSIVE: The Last Stand actor has joined the cast of the Western action film Jane Got A Gun with Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender. Rodrigo Santoro will play the character of Fitchum in the Lynne Ramsey-directed film about Jane Hammond (Portman), who reaches out to her ex-lover (Fassbender) for help when her outlaw husband becomes the target of a violent gang. As well as his appearance in the recent Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, Santoro will be seen in the upcoming prequel 300: Rise Of An Empire resuming his role from the first 300 as the Persian king Xerxes. 300: Rise Of An Empire is due out on August 2, 2013. Scott Steindorff and banker Peter Nathanial are financing Jane Got A Gun, which is written by Brian Duffield. The duo will produce with Portman through her Handsomecharlie Films along with Terry Dougas and Chris Coen. Brillstein Entertainment Partners’ Aleen Keshishian will executive produce with Paris Latsis, Scott Pictures’ Scott LaStaiti and Dylan Russell. Rodrigo Santoro is repped by ICM Partners and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
EXCLUSIVE: Joel Edgerton is in negotiations to join the cast of Jane Got A Gun, the Lynne Ramsey-directed Western action film that stars Natalie Portman and Michael Fassbender. It is set to start shooting early next year. The pic centers on Jane Hammond (Portman), who reaches out to her ex-lover (Fassbender) to help her when her outlaw husband becomes the target of a violent gang. Edgerton would play John Bishop, the leader of the gang coming to kill Hammond’s husband. Edgerton will soon to be seen in the Kathryn Bigelow-directed Zero Dark Thirty, playing the Squadron Team Leader in the film about the hunt for Osama bin Laden. He also co-stars in The Great Gatsby and Felony, both of which are due out next year. He is repped by CAA.