While the reasons behind Lynne Ramsay's shocking departure from her western Jane Got a Gun remain a mystery, producers promised us that a replacement was being flown in immediately. They weren't lying, as today brings word that Warrior director Gavin O'Connor has taken over the job.
O'Connor, who also directed the Olympic hockey film Miracle, Pride and Glory, and Tumbleweeds, should be able to maintain the grit and neo-realism that Ramsay would have brought to the table. It sounds as if the stars are comfortable with the change, at least at this point, meaning production will pick back up on Thursday. But that still leaves the question of what drove off Ramsay to begin with. Screen Daily blames it on a failed last second attempt to renegotiate terms of her contract. At the same time they say she had a spat with Michael Fassbender, leading to his exit from the film last week.
Whatever the case, it's hard to have a lot of confidence in the film now, even with O'Connor on board and the incredible cast that remains attached. Natalie Portman plays a good wife married to a bad guy. When he turns on his gang, the Bishop Boys, and returns home near dead and full of bullets, she must take up arms to defend her home. Jude Law plays the leader of the gang who comes looking for revenge, while Joel Edgerton is Portman's old flame, a gunslinger who puts aside his hatred for her husband to protect the woman he loves.