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. READ MORE »
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.”
‘Intouchables’ Screenings To Be Preceded By Paul McCartney-Directed Short With Johnny Depp And Natalie Portman
The Weinstein Company will show Paul McCartney’s directorial debut short film My Valentine on prints of The Intouchables, the runaway hit French film that makes its U.S. debut Friday. The three-minute short, based on an idea by the director’s daughter Stella, stars Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman. They translate the …
TV Producer-Turned-Film Director Tony Krantz Sells 8 TV Projects, Including Natalie Portman-Produced ‘Scruples’ Adaptation
EXCLUSIVE: Four years after Tony Krantz left his TV producing career to focus on feature directing, he is mounting a big push in television with 8 projects set up at various broadcast networks, including a Scruples adaptation at ABC, which he is executive producing with Natalie Portman; a drama set in the New York restaurant world executive produced by chef/restaurateur Mario Batali; and an action drama about a foreign correspondent executive produced by former CNN president Jonathan Klein. The ramped-up small-screen development does not mean a return to TV full-time for Krantz, who helmed 3 features in the past 4 years, including most recently The Big Bang, and has 3 other potential film directing vehicles in the works.
Krantz, who was head of primetime packaging at CAA and CEO of Imagine Television before he embarked on a feature directing career, started building his Flame Ventures into an independent TV production company last year when it sold 5 broadcast projects. With the hire of Reece Pearson as head of development, the company has stepped up its TV efforts, selling 8 projects in the past few weeks. Flame is using an indie model similar to that employed by DreamWorks TV where projects are sold directly to the networks and then laid off at the nets’ affiliated studios.
At ABC, the company has Scruples 2. It is based on the 1978 novel by Krantz’s mother, Beverly Hills novelist Judith Krantz, who also penned a sequel in 1992. Bob Brush and Mel Harris will write the adaptation and exec produce with Portman, her producing partner Annette Savitch and Krantz. Warner Bros. TV is producing as it has the rights to the property via the 1980 Scruples miniseries starring Lindsay Wagner, which it produced.
EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures is finalizing a deal to develop a feature about the romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, as a directing vehicle for Martin Scorsese. The film will be produced by Julie Yorn, Gary Foster and Russ Krasnoff of Krasnoff Foster Productions, and Scorsese through his Paramount-based Sikelia banner. They are assembling the resources to tell Hollywood’s most famous star-crossed love story.
They’ve optioned Furious Love, the book by Sam Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger that was published by HarperCollins last year. At the same time, the producers have a rights agreement with Burton’s estate, and a pledge of cooperation from his widow, Sally Hay Burton, to make his library available as a resource. The filmmakers have also reached out to the estate of Taylor with the same hopes. A screenwriter will be hired shortly.
I’m told that Paramount made the book deal as other parties pursued the book, with other suitors including Oscar-winning Black Swan star Natalie Portman and The King’s Speech Oscar-winning scribe David Seidler. All this for a book that got 100 passes when initially shopped for a movie deal by the author’s reps, Justin Manask and David Kuhn. Film interest in the book — for which Taylor made available many of the love letters Burton wrote to her over the years — grew when Taylor passed away in March and reports focused on the relationship between Taylor and Burton.