The 25: Whitlock & Pope’s Most Anticipated Films of 2014 – #25-11

11. Jane Got a Gun (August 29 US/TBA UK)

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A story: this western appeared on the 2011 Black List, the annual rundown of the buzziest unproduced screenplays. In May 2012 it was announced that Natalie Portman would star in the film as the title character Jane Hammond and that Lynne Ramsay (We Need To Talk About Kevin) would direct. Michael Fassbender would play Jane’s husband, and Joel Edgerton would play the villain.

But before shooting even began, Fassbender left to film the new X-Men movie, Edgerton took his role, and Jude Law took Edgerton’s role as the villain. Ok, not necessarily an issue.

Then on the first day of shooting Lynne Ramsey “quit” (hmm). The next day Gavin O’Connor replaced her. So Jude Law left. Then cinematographer Darius Khondji (Seven, The Game) left. HE’S A GREAT CINEMATOGRAPHER, so you know that’s not a positive.

Then they started rewriting the script. GOOD LORD. But at least the cast is pretty locked down now, right?

NO. Bradley Cooper replaced Law as the villain. Edgerton left, replaced by Noah Emmerich, as the husband. Then Cooper left, to film American Hustle. Then Ewan McGregor took over as the villain.

Natalie Portman is basically the only person who didn’t quit or get fired. That’s what I like about Portman.  She’s like the eye of the storm.

Anyway, here at W&P we’ve not heard of such backstage chaos since The Island of Dr Moreau, or maybe The Wolfman, and both of those were awful.  But who knows, maybe there’ll be some weird alchemy and it’ll come out amazing.  Like people driving past a car crash, we can’t wait to assess the damage. For that reason it’s number 11 on our “most anticipated” list.  Hey, “most anticipated” isn’t quite the same as “good.”  So there. –AJP