The Western Jane Got a Gun has gotten off to a bit of a rough start. The film was to begin production this past Monday, but director Lynne Ramsay abruptly left the project by reportedly not showing up for the first day of filming, leaving the pic in a state of uncertainty. Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) was quickly brought in to replace Ramsay, but then Jude Law dropped out of the project as a result of Ramsay’s departure, leaving the film without a villain. Natalie Portman is poised to star as a woman whose outlaw husband returns home riddled with bullets, spurring her to team up with her ex-lover (Joel Edgerton) in order to seek revenge against the man responsible (the villain role yet to be cast).
With production apparently back underway, O’Connor and the film’s producers are scrambling to replace Law as quickly as possible. A new report has surfaced suggesting that they’re casting a pretty wide net to fill the role, as Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Jeff Bridges are among those being considered. Hit the jump for more.
Yesterday, we reported the surprising news that director Lynne Ramsey (We Need to Talk about Kevin) didn’t show up on the first day of shooting on her new movie, Jane Got a Gun. The film follows a woman (Natalie Portman) whose outlaw husband (Jude Law) returns home riddled with bullets. Convinced his gang will return to finish him off and destroy her farm, the woman turns to an ex-lover (Joel Edgerton) she hasn’t seen in a decade to help her defend the farm. The reports on Ramsey’s departure make it sound like she simply chose not to show up without any word to anyone. Personally, I think there’s more to the story. Not some massive conspiracy, but certainly something more than the talking point of “She was lazy and irresponsible.” Ramsey has yet to comment, and I’ll be interested to hear her side of the story.
In the meantime, the show must go on, and after a scramble to find a new director, Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) has stepped in according to Deadline. In terms of style, you couldn’t get further apart than O’Connor and Ramsey, but O’Connor has a respectable resume, and his latest project, FX’s The Americans, has been a success. Jane Got a Gun has a great premise and cast, so I’m glad the film hasn’t fallen apart, but the behind-the-scenes story may end up being even better.
FX has made a commitment to order the spy pilot The Americans to series. The hourlong drama stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as two KGB spies posing as a married American couple in the suburbs of Washington DC in the 1980s. Here’s how FX describes the show:
The arranged marriage of Phillip (Rhys) and Elizabeth Jennings (Russell), who have two children who know nothing about their parents true identity, grows more passionate and genuine by the day, but is constantly tested by the escalation of the Cold War and the intimate, dangerous and darkly funny relationships they must maintain with a network of spies and informants under their control
The relationship between the two is complicated by Rhys’ growing affinity for American values, and the arrival of a new neighbor who is actually an FBI agent working counter intelligence. FX has ordered a 13-episode first season of the show, which will debut in early 2013. Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) directed the pilot. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
Sony Pictures is getting a move-on with the feature film adaptation of the 1980s CBS crime series The Equalizer. Denzel Washington has been set to star as far back as last December, and Sony is hoping to make the film the first in a franchise. The TV series centered on a former covert operations officer who dedicated his life to helping people in trouble. The film will retain that main conceit, but is only loosely based on the show. Deadline reports that an April 8th start date has been set for the feature, most likely in Boston, but the next order of business is finding a director. Hit the jump to see who’s landed on Sony’s shortlist.
I have yet to catch director Gavin O’Connor’s fighter drama Warrior, but I’ve heard nothing but great things about the Tom Hardy/Joel Edgerton-fronted pic. The film earned positive reviews, and O’Connor landed on the director shortlist for The Wolverine. While he didn’t end up filling the director’s chair for the superhero sequel, he’s now set to direct another film that also takes place in Japan. Deadline reports that O’Connor will direct the Universal Pictures thriller Yakuza, which centers on “an American intelligence expert who becomes embroiled in the affairs of a notorious yakuza godfather and finds himself plunged into the violent criminal underworld and toxic landscape of post-tsunami Japan.”
O’Connor will rewrite the script with Josh Fagin, and Brian Grazer is onboard to produce. The director is also attached to helm the Peter Pan reimagining Neverland, as well as the thriller The Samurai for Warner Bros. No word on which of the three projects will go first, but O’Connor has lined up a promising post-Warrior slate.
Director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) has been tapped to helm the Sony Pictures production of Neverland, a film that features Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street). There is some confusion as to the plot of Neverland, which was formerly known as Pan; this is where the trouble started. When last we reported on this particular Peter Pan-related project, there was another movie titled Pan that was also in production. That film, directed by animation sequence and video game director Ben Hibon (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1), stars Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight) as Captain Hook, AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge to Terabithia) as Wendy and Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) as Smee. Scripted by Benjamin Magid, this twist on the classic J.M. Barrie tale pits a heroic Captain Hook in search of a child-stealing Peter Pan.
While this actually sounds like a fresh spin on an old story, it has nothing to do with the Tatum and now, O’Connor version. Plot details are in short order, but a previous report did pitch the idea that Peter Pan and Captain Hook were brothers. It’s all rather confusing. Hit the jump to sort it out. [Update: Tatum's reps have clarified that he's only production the origin take on Peter Pan, not starring].
Gavin O’Connor’s Warrior was a well-executed double-Rocky story and I’m slightly surprised that it did so poorly at the box office. But the writer-director is picking himself back up off the mat and has sold his spec script The Samurai to Warner Bros. O’Connor co-wrote the script with Michael J. Wilson, and The Playlist reports that while details on the plot are slim, “it’s said to be a ‘brutal’ lightning fast thriller, with international locations that also features a love story as part of the plot.” [Update: Deadline adds "The action adventure is about a rogue assassin named Townes Joyce, who breaks out of a Texas jail that puts him on the run from an international manhunt. Along the way, he gets involved with a woman and her child, and they go along for a ride that spans Costa Rica, Colombia, Paris and back to the U.S."]
O’Connor has a solid working relationship with WB having his previous film Pride & Glory released through New Line (although it sat on the shelf for quite some time) and working with the studio on Victory, which has him re-teaming with his Warrior co-writer Anthony Tambakis. As for Wilson, he co-wrote the script Tiki with Ahmet Zappa (The Odd Life of Timothy Green) and sold it to Disney. He also penned the cop-thriller Inventory with Bruce Willis attached to play a cop who goes undercover in AA to get a written confession from a murder. Those meetings are supposed to be anonymous, Bruce! ANONYMOUS!
Lionsgate believes in its upcoming MMA drama Warrior and they should. I caught the film a few weeks ago and it’s surprisingly good. It doesn’t break the mold or reinvent the genre, but it’s got strong performances, great fight scenes, and you’re basically getting two Rockys for the price of one. The studio has been holding promo screenings for the past several weeks but now they’ve announced via press release that this Sunday they’re going to give the whole country and early look by offering a sneak preview. Audiences will be able to buy tickets to see the film early on September 4th at 7:00 pm at theaters nationwide. It’s not a bad way to spend a little time on Labor Day weekend.
Click here to purchase tickets and hit the jump for the trailer and synopsis. Warrior opens September 9th.
Well it looks like the list of contenders for the director of Fox’s The Wolverine has been narrowed down to eight. Following the sudden departure of Darren Aronofsky shortly before filming was to commence, Fox began searching for a replacement for the Hugh Jackman-starred follow-up to Gavin Hood’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Now, Showblitz reports that the shortlist of contenders for the job is as follows: Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs. Smith) Jose Padilha (upcoming Robocop remake), Antoine Fuqua (Shooter), Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go), Justin Lin (Fast Five), Gavin O’Connor (Warrior), James Mangold (3:10 to Yuma ) and commercials director Gary Shore.
With a script from Christopher McQuarrie, The Wolverine is largely set in Japan. Filming was poised to take place in that country, but it’s currently unknown if that’s still the plan given the natural disaster that recently ravaged the landmass. Hit the jump for more, including my thoughts on this list.
Lionsgate has released a trailer for the upcoming mixed martial arts fighting drama Warrior. Directed by Gavin O’Connor (Miracle) the film stars Tom Hardy (Inception) and Joel Edgerton (Animal Kingdom) as brothers fighting for the mixed martial arts championship. I like the idea of a Rocky story where we follow both fighters into the ring and both their causes are valid (although the trailer makes it look like Edgerton is really the protagonist). Unfortunately, this trailer takes you through almost the entire movie to the point where I’m a little surprised that it doesn’t go ahead and reveal the champion.
Hit the jump to see the trailer and for a full synopsis. The film also stars Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, and Frank Grillo. Warrior opens September 9th.
by Jason Barr Posted: January 6th, 2011 at 9:50 am
When we brought you the first image from Gavin O’ Connor’s (Pride and Glory) Warrior almost one year ago, there was minimal buzz surrounding the film. Flash-forward to the present and Warrior is a “Tom Hardy film.” Now, thanks to Lionsgate sending us some updated information, we know that Warrior is a “Tom Hardy film” that will be released later this year on September 9th.
Briefly, Warrior tells the story of a troubled ex-marine (Hardy) who returns to his hometown. While there, he faces obstacles regarding his broken family while preparing to fight in an MMA tournament. To check out a detailed synopsis as well as a hi-res image from the film, hit the jump. In addition to Hardy, Warrior also stars Nick Nolte, Noah Emmerich (The Truman Show), Joel Edgerton (Smokin’ Aces), and Jennifer Morrison (Star Trek).