Western producers heading for a showdown with 'boozy' director

Actress Natalie Portman, who stars in Jane Got a Gun. Photo: Getty Images

Robert Dex

THE producers of a western starring Natalie Portman are taking legal action against award-winning Scottish director Lynne Ramsay after she pulled out of filming.

Court papers show the producers of Jane Got A Gun allege that Ramsay, whose We Need to Talk About Kevin was shortlisted for the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, was "repeatedly under the influence of alcohol, was abusive to members of the cast and crew and was generally disruptive" on set.

They also allege she aimed a prop gun at a camera crew and delayed filming in an attempt to "extort a renegotiation" of her contract.

The legal documents, published by The Hollywood Reporter, allege that her failure to rewrite the script, for which she was paid $50,000 (€37,000), delayed filming.

They also claim she was paid $90,000 (€67,000) up-front to direct the film, with $360,000 (€269,000) given to her agents to be paid to her when she finished – a sum the producers allege she has not returned despite "multiple requests".


Her contract would also have given her a share of the film's proceeds, a bonus if it was nominated for an Academy Award and royalties from sales of the soundtrack album.

It was reported earlier this year that Jude Law pulled out of the film, shot in New Mexico, after Ramsay quit to be replaced by Gavin O'Connor.