Lynne Ramsay ‘fails to show up’ on set of new film

Director Lynne Ramsay at the 2011 Cannes film festival. Picture: Reuters
Director Lynne Ramsay at the 2011 Cannes film festival. Picture: Reuters
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SCOTTISH filmmaker Lynne Ramsay has been replaced on her latest movie project after reportedly failing to turn up on set for the first day of shooting.

The award-winning Glasgow director is said to have left Natalie Portman’s new western film, Jane Got A Gun, following a behind-the-scenes bust-up with the producer, Scott Steindorff.

Steindorff said that he was “shocked and so disappointed” at Ramsay’s sudden departure. The film’s international sales agents, Exclusive Media, said they were “disappointed” by her exit.

It is the second time the director, whose best-known films include Morvern Callar, Ratcatcher and We Need To Talk About Kevin, has left a major production she was hired to work on. In 2009, she was replaced on the film adaptation of The Lovely Bones by Peter Jackson.

American director Gavin O’Connor, who made the 2011 cage-fighting film Warrior, was reported to have been drafted in last night as an eleventh-hour replacement for Ramsay.

Portman has been lined up to play the lead role of a woman forced to turn to an ex-lover to help her defend her farm from a violent gang. The film, which was due to start shooting in Santa Fe, New Mexico on Monday, had already been hit by the loss of one of its main stars, Michael Fassbender, who was due to play the male lead alongside Portman. He pulled out after repeated delays with filming on the Western getting under way.

Joel Edgerton, who had been due to play the film’s main villain, was drafted in to take over from Fassbender, and Jude Law was also added to the cast.

However, further problems arose when Ramsay reportedly failed to turn up for the first day of shooting on Monday.

Steindorff said: “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.”

A statement from Exclusive Media added: “As the international sales team for Jane Got A Gun, we are disappointed by the departure of Lynne Ramsay but Scott Steindorff and the production team have our full support and we are fully confident the film schedule will be back on track within 24 hours.”

Born in Glasgow in 1969, Ramsay studied photography at the then Napier College in Edinburgh, before securing a place at the National Film and Television School in Buckinghamshire.

She won a prestigious prize at the Cannes Film Festival with her graduation film, the first of several industry awards she has scooped, including a Bafta for Ratcatcher, her debut feature film. It was chosen for the opening gala of the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF) in 1999.

The same honour was handed to Morvern Callar, which was based on Alan Warner’s best-selling novel, at the 2002 EIFF.

However, there was a lengthy hiatus before Ramsay’s next film, We Need To Talk About Kevin, was released in 2011. A drama about a mother struggling to come to terms with the fact her son has committed a massacre at a high school, it was premiered to huge acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival and won actress Tilda Swinton a string of industry honours around the world.

Last night, Ramsay could not be contacted for comment.