Entertainment & Arts

Director Lynne Ramsay sued over Natalie Portman Western

Lynne Ramsay
Image caption Ramsay directed Tilda Swinton in We Need To Talk About Kevin

The producers of Jane Got A Gun, a Western starring Natalie Portman, have taken legal action against Scots director Lynne Ramsay, who quit the movie a day before shooting.

They said Ramsay was paid $750,000 (£466,000) to work on the screenplay and to direct but her last-minute departure delayed production.

They also claimed she was drunk and abusive on set.

Ramsay was followed off the troubled project by actor Michael Fassbender.

Jude Law, who was brought in as a replacement, followed suit as did Bradley Cooper after him.

Ewan McGregor was eventually brought in to star with Oscar-winner Portman, with Warrior filmmaker Gavin O'Connor signed on to direct.

According to the film's synopsis, Portman plays the wife of an injured outlaw, who is forced to defend her farm from his former gang after they attempt to murder him.

The court papers, acquired by the Hollywood Reporter and filed in a federal court in New Mexico - where the film was due to shoot, alleged Ramsay "was repeatedly under the influence of alcohol, was abusive to members of the cast and crew and was generally disruptive".

The legal action further alleged that Ramsey, who was Bafta-nominated for We Need To Talk About Kevin - starring Tilda Swinton, endangered crew members "when she pointed a prop gun directly at a camera and, in turn, at the camera crew before first taking proper precautions".

Portman - who is also one of the film's producers - reportedly showed up for the first day of shooting in March unaware that Ramsay had quit the day before.

According to a report in the Hollywood Reporter, the Scottish filmmaker had not been presented with an approved schedule, script or budget days before shooting was set to begin.

Earlier this year, Ramsay served on the prize jury at the Cannes Film Festival alongside Stephen Spielberg and Nicole Kidman.

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