The news here isn’t so much that the film needs a new director, those kinds of things happen all the time, what’s odd is the way in which she decided to announce her departure. The film was slated to begin filming today, but Lynne Ramsay never showed up. Everyone else was there and ready to begin, but Ramsay neglected to appear. I can’t think of a worse way to announce your departure from the film.
Obviously no one was expecting this, otherwise, production wouldn’t have been scheduled to begin today, so it seems as though everyone has been blindsided by this. In the film Jane (Portman) runs away from her outlaw husband (Jude Law) and meets up with an old flame (Joel Edgerton) in order to protect her family. It’s got a stellar cast, that had a brief shake-up a couple weeks ago when Michael Fassbender dropped out of the role, to be filled by Jude Law. Outside of that little setback, everything else seemed completely normal, until today.
Deadline got the news on this one and spoke with Scott Steindorff (who is producing the film along with Natalie Portman) who had this to say about the crisis:
“I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast…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 I mentioned, it’s not uncommon for director’s to leave a project, but I can’t think of any instances in which they left the very same day of production. That’s just plain odd, and frankly rude. Since the story broke, I’ve been doing my best to keep from being too judgmental about it. After all we don’t know the circumstances surrounding Ramsay’s sudden departure. Even so, I can’t think of any logical reason for a director to pull this kind of move.
I mean, even if it were a family emergency or something akin to that, I imagine there are hundreds of better ways to announce to everyone you’re leaving. Seriously, it just seems poorly handled and shady. I’d love to hear the details of what exactly happened…I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. In the meantime, new directors are being looked at ASAP, and the cast/crew have been instructed to keep coming to work on the set, where they’ll be going through rehearsals until a new director is chosen.