Yesterday, Lynne Ramsay made what’s most likely a massive career error by quitting Jane Got a Gun in spectacular fashion. By not showing up for work on the first day of filming, she either did the only thing she could do to take care of a personal crisis or she pulled a dick move by threatening a production and the jobs of several hundred people. Details are unclear at this point, but according to Deadline Hollywood, producer Scott Steindorff has pulled a director out of a hat to take Ramsay’s place.
That filmmaker is Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, Miracle), and he’s an excellent choice for the wild west story that sees a young woman (Natalie Portman) turn to an ex to protect her husband from a gang ready to kill him. O’Connor has proven several times that he can make great adult fiction without alienating or making the tone too niche to enjoy. Not only is it surprising that the production found an available replacement so quickly, it’s downright astonishing that they found one who’se so well-suited to the material.
O’Connor was working on prep for the TV series Cinnamon Girl from writer/creator Renee Zellweger, but otherwise his film focus was free beyond projects at the script level. However, there’s a chance that this sudden new employment will affect his attachment to Yakuza and The Samurai — two films that are hopefully self-descriptive. We also now get to wonder how their takes would have been different and play that What If game throughout production.