In spite of a director quitting, actors quitting, and other actors who replaced the original actors who quit also quitting, production continues on Jane Got A Gun, the new Western starring Natalie Portman. Variety says that Relativity Media has now scheduled the film for U.S. release on August 29, 2014.
To recap briefly Jane’s troubles so far: its original director, Lynne Ramsay, never showed up for the first day of shooting, either because of creative conflicts with her producers or because of what a lawsuit (yeah, there’s a lawsuit) alleges was her “dangerous behavior on set” including aiming a prop gun at the camera crew and acting “abusive” to the cast and crew. Ramsay’s departure not only instigated a legal battle, it kicked off a cycle of actors dropping out of the film—like Jude Law—and then getting replaced by other actors—like Bradley Cooper—who later dropped out as well. The final cast list includes Portman, Ewan McGregor, and Joel Edgerton; the plot involves Portman’s character asking an old flame (Edgerton) to protect her family from a gang (led by McGregor) that wants to kill her ex-husband (Noah Emmerich). The film is now being directed by Warrior’s Gavin O’Connor.
The last weekend in August is typically a cinematic dumping ground; maybe a small step up (if that) from early January. This year’s releases in that slot included the Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez driving movie Getaway. Putting Jane Got A Gun there doesn’t bode well for its chances, to say nothing about all the creative problems it’s already endured. But perhaps Relativity likes the movie and wants to release it at a time when competition is relatively low and it has a chance of finding an audience. Or maybe I’m trying desperately took look on the bright side.