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[dropcap]B[/dropcap]ritish director Lynne Ramsay has left Jane Got a Gun after failing to turn up to the New Mexico shoot on the18th  of March, the first day of shooting, just a week after Michael Fassbender dropped out.

As if things couldn’t get worse for the troubled western, Jude Law, who was set to play the villain, has also dropped out of the project. So, in the complex soap opera of this production we have had Fassbender drop out of the male lead role, which was then adopted by Joel Edgerton, who was previously cast as the villain, a role which Jude Law had taken on.

Reasons for Ramsay’s departure are unclear, with many reasons being stated by various sources. The most reported story so far is that Ramsay and producer Scott Steindorff had been at loggerheads about various aspects of the film from budget to story.

Steindorff told Deadline “I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast,” He continued, “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.”

And that replacement has emerged in the form of Warrior’s Gavin O’Connor. However, Law’s replacement is yet to be found, though the likes of Jeff Bridges, Toby Maguire and Jake Gyllenhaal have all been put on the director’s wish list. Gyllenhaal as a western villain could prove an inspired casting choice, much in the same vein as Leonardo DiCaprio’s sinister turn as Calvin Candie in Django Unchained.

Still, it is a shame that Ramsay has dropped out of this one. She has garnered much critical acclaim since her debut with 1999’s Ratcatcher, and the chance of seeing her direct a western was an exciting prospect. Steindorff is currently pursuing legal action against Ramsay, who is reportedly on a pay-or-play contract (meaning she gets paid either way).

Jane Got a Gun will star Natalie Portman, who is also producing, as the titular Jane, who is forced to seek the help of a past lover (Edgerton) after her husband is betrayed by hisformer gang. Fassbender was set to play the ex-lover before scheduling conflicts with X-Men: Days of Future Past meant he had to drop out.

 

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