SHOCKER: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Loses Director Lynne Ramsay On First Day Of Production

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.”

As for the prospect of legal ramifications, Steindorff said: “She was pay or play, and Marty Singer has been retained. My focus is on making this movie, but I will protect all my rights. This comes down to an irresponsible act by one person.”

Ramsey, best known for directing We Need To Talk About Kevin, wasn’t immediately available for comment, but I will update this as I learn more.

In the Brian Duffield-scripted drama, Portman plays the title character, a woman whose outlaw husband returns home riddled with bullets. Convinced his gang will return to finish him off and destroy her farm, the woman turns to an ex-lover she hasn’t seen in a decade to help her defend the farm.

Comments (283)

  • I worked with Lynne on set of We Need to Talk about Kevin and she is an absolute nightmare. Ego without a cause that one. They are better off! Blessing in my opinion.

    Comment by M&M — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:44am PDT  
    • That’s interesting…While I did see We Need to Talk About Kevin, and did like it a lot, I wasn’t on-set to witness/experience the director’s personal demeanor. Nor – now that I think of it – was I on-set for Movern Caller, nor for Ratcatcher. Loved those films immensely–though did I lose out by not having first-hand temporary personal experience with the filmmaker? Now that I think of it, I’ve missed out somehow, in not witnessing first-hand the “ego” of Scorcese, or Coppola, or Bergman, or Tarkovsky; and then having the privilege to grouse/humblebrag about it online!

      O cinema!

      Comment by Greg — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 12:37pm PDT  
      • The article and the point isn’t about how good her films are, it’s about her behaviour towards cast and crew. Shame you couldn’t see that through your Snark-O-Vision in a rush to post a comment that just makes you look a fool.

        Comment by Chris ONeill — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 1:05pm PDT  
        • I totally agree. I have been in the biz a long time and have been on shoots where I wish
          the director had quit.

          Comment by Carlo Irwin — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 3:52pm PDT  
      • Yes, and I am pretty sure – te he he – that the directors YOU mentioned – te he he – never bailed on a crew and cast on the first day of production. Oh wait, that doesn’t actually sound that funny at all, does it?

        Comment by Alan B — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 1:41pm PDT  
      • So, you have nothing to add to the conversation, unlike the person you are responding to. Thanks for stopping by.

        Comment by louie — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 6:10pm PDT  
    • Who ever dealt with Scott Steinsdorff before knows there will be more to this story. However, that does not excuse her action, which must be pure desperation. You show up and work out differences in ways that do not hurt others. Seems like a career ender.

      Natalie Portman is a great actress. Maybe she is not such a great producer.

      Comment by citizentm — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 2:52pm PDT  
      • whoever is blaming Natalie for producing needs to get his thumb out of his or her butt. You can blame her after the project is like delayed 9 months and over budget. not there yet. and she’s co producing..

        Comment by Psycho Ward — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:10pm PDT  
    • You vacant asshole

      Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 8:11pm PDT  
      • Hey Lynne – so uh – a little late to work recently… sup?

        Comment by nat — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:36pm PDT  
    • Weird… I worked on We Need to Talk About Kevin also. I never heard Lynne (or anyone else for that matter) raise their voice, nor did I sense any significant tension or animosity. She, Ezra, and Tilda seemed to work together wonderfully. As I was only Ezra Miller’s stand-in, I guess I wasn’t truly in the thick of things, but she knew my name and seemed very sweet, decisive, and professional. Honestly, that set felt very cohesive. Everybody was very passionate and driven by the material, and bold, visceral choices were made on all accounts. I perceive Lynne as a person who only works on projects she feels very passionate about, regardless of the paycheck. I’m going to make the educated guess that (barring some personal misfortune) she backed out of the project because she simply didn’t want her name attached to something in which she had no personal investment. As for the rest of the cast and crew, none of their jobs are in danger. With names and money like that, the production will obviously move forward with a different director (there are plenty out there). It sucks that they won’t get Lynne’s take on the material, but I’m considering her departure as an important facet of what could be a great film, or the first sign of what could be a very troubled shoot… or somewhere in between ;)

      Comment by Ezra2 — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 1:44am PDT  
      • So true – lynne is an exceptional talent.

        Comment by orl korrect — Friday March 22, 2013 @ 10:38am PDT  
    • ANGRY WORDS!!!

      Comment by Anonymous — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 1:03pm PDT  
    • Everything comes with a price. Lynne’s ego will come at a heavy price, professionally and monetarily. Being the prima donna will be costly.

      Comment by Jon Kanemakua — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 6:46pm PDT  
    • I’m sorry you feel that way because a lot of my friends and colleagues who worked on ‘We Need To Talk About Kevin’ had nothing but nice things to say about Lynne and the few times I met her she was so nice, humble and incredibly talented.

      I suspect she was being forced to make one compromise too much and probably made a knee jerk reaction to get out of it – artists are emotional people after all.

      I wish her the best of luck and the movie she left behind looks like it’ll be a generic meh-fest of a movie.

      Comment by Ramsey Hassan — Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 3:13am PDT  
  • This is good news. “We Need to Talk About Kevin” showed how clumsy she can be even with great material.

    Comment by Ken — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:45am PDT  
  • Unless she’s checking into a hospital for some serious issue, this is not good.

    Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:46am PDT  
    • yes, there’s an unwritten rule that you do not “disappear” on a shoot unless you are dead or crack your head on a camera. it doesn’t matter, if you have arguments, fights, or disagreements – you show up. she will never work again.

      Comment by anon — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 5:28pm PDT  
      • One would hope.

        No hack should be in a position to harm 100+ jobs, most below the line, out of sheer unprofessionalism.

        Comment by Pedro — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 7:52pm PDT  
  • Insanity. Feel awful for Scott Steindorff and Natalie Portman.

    Comment by anonymous — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:46am PDT  
    • They are only telling half the story. I was there.

      Comment by T — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:38am PDT  
      • Then spill the beans!

        Comment by Reggie Van Luster — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 11:30am PDT  
      • Yeah? How about telling the “real” story, then, instead of just insinuating that one exists?

        Comment by reply — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 11:33am PDT  
      • I assumed that this was the case. I’ll be glad when the day comes that we all – and I include myself – learn how to wait for facts and context before jumping on these things.

        Comment by Mildred — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 12:24pm PDT  
      • Definitely not the first time a director walked off a project.

        I worked in legal at the DGA for some time and there always two sides to a story.

        HOWEVER, almost every case I worked on, the director gave some type of warning/notice/ultimatum before not showing up.

        Either Steindorff knew she wasn’t going to show and brought in everyone anyway or Ramsay is in deep doh

        Comment by Anon — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 1:45pm PDT  
  • Why are women fired so easily and men are not? I asked tough questions about script changes and the next thing I knew my producers had a man in my job. He asked all the same questions and made all the changes I asked for. He could get them to move off stuff I couldn’t.

    The reporting of the Steubenville rape case shows us that misogyny is prevalent in ways we don’t even want to acknowledge.

    Comment by Amy — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:46am PDT  
    • Did you read the article??? She WAS NOT FIRED… she DID NOT SHOW UP TO WORK! Try another fact to push your sexist agenda, please!

      Comment by Randy Shaw — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:01am PDT  
      • There’s no “agenda.” She got the events wrong in this instance, but that doesn’t invalidate her very real point. The sexist dynamic the comment above described is very accurate. So stop making overly emotional hay of her error here to feed and justify your misogyny.

        Comment by Back up — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:49am PDT  
        • Randy properly scolded the clueless polemist for not even reading the article. Not one word in his brief post reeks of mysoginism. So, please enlighten us as to why the hell you are accusing him.

          Comment by Gustavo — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 12:35pm PDT  
      • Did YOU read the article, Randy?

        The SPIN from the PRODUCER is that she did not show up.

        No one has independently substantiated a single thing he said. We don’t know what actually happened because we have only one party’s self serving pronouncement to go on.

        The production has lost 3 big names so far, including the director. Something ain’t right here. If Ramsay was the problem, why did Law follow her out the door?

        Comment by LA2000 — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 1:46pm PDT  
    • Did you even read this? She DIDN’T SHOW UP.

      Comment by Really? — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:01am PDT  
    • Not showing up and getting fired are too different things.

      Comment by Tina Fey — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:03am PDT  
    • Did you read the article? No one was fired.

      Comment by Reggie Van Luster — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:04am PDT  
      • I can’t believe they were fired!

        Comment by Idiot — Friday March 22, 2013 @ 2:24pm PDT  
    • Amy, normally I’d be right there with you crying foul, but it doesn’t sound like Ramsay was fired at all. Sounds like she quit. And after taking a big paycheck home no less. SHE screwed up, and she makes all of us look bad in the process.

      Comment by me0w — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:04am PDT  
      • You don’t know the whole story..

        Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:39am PDT  
        • Then tell us

          Comment by well? — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 11:11am PDT  
      • She got part of a big paycheck. You don’t get paid for the whole thing in advance. You get it in a series of payments (same for the major actors and the writers). She quit so the pay-or-play clause no longer applies. You have to be let go due to no fault of your own to get a full pay or play payout. She was neither let go and clearly by simply failing to show without any notice, she is at least partially at fault. She’s going to have to return some money, most likely, but not all.

        Comment by Rowan77 — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 11:26am PDT  
      • She doesn’t make ‘the rest of us look bad’ any more than a bad decision by a man makes all men look bad. Why so keen to burden her with that level of guilt/responsibility?

        Comment by P. — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 2:49pm PDT  
        • +1

          Comment by a b — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 6:47am PDT  
    • Uh, what does this have to do with anything? A women wasn’t fired, she (selfishly, it sounds like) left. Apparently leaving everyone else in a lousy situation. Get off your soapbox.

      Comment by be quiet — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:06am PDT  
      • “…she selfishly left…” (so says the Producer and his daughter, but completely unsubstantiated by any other independent source).

        She was also followed by Law. Now why would he leave if Ramsay was the problem? Hmmmm?

        Comment by LA2000 — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 1:49pm PDT  
    • She wasn’t fired. She pulled a no-show. This was her decision. Go back and read the article – you obviously missed something. And, uh… if more women were like you in attention to detail, that could give credence to your theory… ;-)

      Comment by Dave H. — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:08am PDT  
      • And if more men like you needed to stick the misogynist knife at the last second, what theory would that give credence to? :)

        Comment by miltontwins — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 11:28am PDT  
        • It is not misogynistic to clear things up for clueless commenters.

          According to the producer, Ramsay left the project without any word in advance.

          Mysoginy? Where? Elaborate.

          Comment by Gustavo H. Razera — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 12:38pm PDT  
          • “if more women were like you in attention to detail (the commentator having no attention to detail), “that could give credence to your theory” (the clueless commentator’s theory being wrong) that Ramsay was fired because she was a woman.

            Comment by chiefrock — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 2:04pm PDT  
    • The article clearly says she walked off.

      Comment by M&M — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:15am PDT  
      • I have never ever commented on any online thing before, ever. But I had to do it for this one. Everyone that is arguing over the fact that “the article states that she walked off” vs. the comment stating that “she was fired” clearly have never experienced and/or forgotten how the politics of hiring and firing really work. More times than not, people are permitted to “walk off” and save a little bit of dignity when they are actually fired, especially for higher level positions. This may not be the case at all here, because it does sound like a lot of emotions were involved, but its important to remember that we will NEVER have all the FACTS (unless those of you that say you were there actually WERE there!- then you people might have the facts) and so arguing over what an ARTICLE says was the terms of Ramsey’s exit is just silly! On another note, I do appreciate all of the posters passion for the industry.

        Comment by Jh — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 4:16pm PDT  
        • Are you saying that by not telling anybody that she wasn’t showing up, leaving everybody in the lurch, she was acting with some kind of dignity that she would not have had if people had known she wasn’t going to shown up?

          Because, honestly, that doesn’t make the slightest bit of sense. Your call about how we “will never know all the facts” is true; however, I’m not sure what that means that you can make up facts that are contradicted by the facts we do know in order to make it seem like this is no big deal.

          Comment by sean — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 7:08am PDT  
        • If you’re going to allow someone to resign instead of quit, then they send a gracious note in advance that they are leaving to spend more time with their family, and everyone’s been really wonderful, and etc etc.

          They don’t just not show up, especially on the first day of shooting.

          Let’s say the production company let her go, hadn’t filled the chair, and so we get “where is she?” You can bet your ass that her entire staff would be on the phones sending out press releases and arranging appearances to say at the very least it was a misunderstanding – she’d been let go and apparently nobody told the crew, but that’s not her job.

          No – she just didn’t show up on the first day of shooting. This is seriously all on her. People do this all the time – not show up for the first day of work. The difference here is that it’s the director a the launching of a multimillion dollar project.

          This has nothing to do with her gender; it’s simply that a new director was given a great opportunity and flaked out. Bad move, and pretty much the end of her career before it started.

          Comment by Philo — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 10:50am PDT  
          • Does your rule of thumb about how a person’s “staff” should be acting in such situations apply when the director’s manager is the producer’s daughter and says her loyalty is to family first?

            Comment by larry — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 6:18pm PDT  
          • Ramsey is not a “new” director.

            Comment by Troy — Saturday March 23, 2013 @ 3:04am PDT  
        • True, but there’s a huge difference between “so-and-so has elected to leave the project over creative differences” and “she didn’t show up for the first day of principal photography.” No doubt there was a lot of drama leading up to it that we don’t know about, but that version is far too damaging (for everyone involved!) to be any sort of attempt to save face. For her it’s a potential career-ender and for him the producers it could finish off the film.

          Comment by kr408 — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 11:55am PDT  
    • Not to mention the fact that Natalie Portman is the film’s producer, and the one who brought the project to Ramsey. So unless you’re calling Natalie a misogynist, I think it’s safe to say this one’s all on Ramsey. Good to hear they’re still paying the crew though, that’s classy of them.

      Comment by NM — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:17am PDT  
      • Natalie Portman is ONE OF the producers. Along with 4 dudes. And I seriously doubt we have the whole story re: the no-show.

        Comment by AMB — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 3:53pm PDT  
    • TO AMY: What are you taking about?? Steven Soderbergh has been fired from a project. Francis Ford Coppola has been fired from a project. What does this have to do with the Ohio rape case? Those boys are going to jail, end of story. Lynne Ramsay didn’t show up for her job!! Get a freaking clue!!!

      Comment by Deneice — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 7:13pm PDT  
    • Hold on a second… What’s more misogynistic than the movies being made in Hollywood, where women are objectified ad nauseum? You can’t play both sides against the middle and then complain. Her not showing up at the final hour is a bit irresponsible no matter what the issue. Can’t believe she isn’t aware how this will end her career. There had to be another way.

      Comment by mimi — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 8:33pm PDT  
    • And another point has been missed.

      Comment by b — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 11:54am PDT  
    • If they had never hired a female director, you would not be calling them ‘misogynists’.
      no good deed goes unpunished

      Comment by lan — Wednesday March 20, 2013 @ 6:23pm PDT  
  • Sounds like Jeannie Needs a Shooter.

    Comment by Claire's Knee — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:54am PDT  
    • Paging Dr. Ratner.

      Comment by Hnon — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:08am PDT  
  • Scott Steindorff is one of the most refreshing guys in this bizz. He should have no problem getting this back on it’s feet.

    Comment by 3ToWinIt — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:54am PDT  
  • Don’t know any of the people involved personally, and don’t care to speculate on who did what to who. But, really, people. It’s so hard to get a film made – how can you let this happen on day one of PP? Can’t see this film surviving which is a travesty given all the money and talent poured into it. The film industry has enough problems without people putting their egos in the way.

    Comment by simon — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:56am PDT  
    • PP? You mean Pre-Production, or wait you mean Post-Production?….oh, oh Principal Photography…ok got it.
      “Hey can you get that to me by the first day of PP” – No one ever.

      Comment by PP — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:32am PDT  
      • Thank you for stopping my incessant eye-roll with each successive / regressive previous post, and producing a belly laugh. A genuine, out loud, belly laugh. In solemn mode, watching tape of Pope Francis installation, and reading this article about Lynne’s SHAMEFUL actions today. Even if she was totally screwed, lied to, and her dog assassinated…even if Scott called her at 4am and said, “You are a talentless whore who will ruin my movie in a couple of hours!” YOU SHOW UP! It was an overly-emotionally move by a woman who doesn’t know the difference between dignity and dick. Two sides? ABSOLUTELY! But LR pulled a shameful, classless, unprofessional, hysterical, emotional move. Sad.

        Anyway, your comment PP, still has me laughing…it struck a chord…I never laugh at comments…so thank you.

        Comment by Terrence — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 1:04pm PDT  
        • It’s not Scott’s movie , he dint write it ,h jut put up cash , Lynne fuck off bak to Europe , where you can make. Film and don’t have to make a movie, movies are what you watch at the drive in ,
          This has Ben tour tour for all involved since Christmas , Scott is is a dick ! ,

          Comment by Anonymous — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 8:21pm PDT  
        • Really? Overly emotional, hysterical and, oh ya, emotional? That’s funny because Jude Law’s exit was overly logical, clear-headed and extra manly.

          Comment by me — Tuesday March 26, 2013 @ 4:08pm PDT  
  • Poor Portman. She’s gone to the mat for this woman, and this is what she gets.

    I have no doubt there was BS going on behind the scenes, but I’m still struggling to find a way to excuse this. No matter how much crap the suits throw at you, once money/actors/crew are in place, don’t you just go ahead and hopefully make everyone eat your sh** by making a great film?

    Comment by andrea — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:58am PDT  
    • Ohhhhh Poor Portman! PP…got it.

      Comment by PP — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 10:33am PDT  
      • She’s a People Person, but will need a… Powerfull Psychiatrist to deal with this mess. Palpable Pleasure will be felt when all is corrected.

        Petty Post?

        Comment by Dil — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 11:01am PDT  
        • And you, Dil, is ALL that is wrong with comedy in Hollywood. Sorry, no intention to be mean, just honest. Drably, uncomfortably, thoroughly unfunny. Pick up your game, or stop commenting.

          Comment by Terrence — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 1:11pm PDT  
          • … and you’re clearly Oscar Wilde incarnate.

            Comment by Alan B — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:40pm PDT  
      • AGAIN! Hahaha! Wow, I am now president of the PP fan club. Thank you.

        Comment by Terrence — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 1:06pm PDT  
  • It’s good that Michael Fassbender dropped out, then. Good for you, buddy.

    Comment by timotey — Tuesday March 19, 2013 @ 9:59am PDT  
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