And another one bites the dust. EW has confirmed that Bradley Cooper is the latest big name to exit Jane Got a Gun, a western starring Natalie Portman in its title role. Cooper was set to play an outlaw who swears revenge against a rival gunslinger (Noah Emmerich) – a part he inherited after two successive leading men dropped out of the film.
Originally, Portman was to star opposite Michael Fassbender – but Fassbender abruptly left the project in early March. According to The Hollywood Reporter, his exit was motivated by scheduling conflicts; several delays had pushed back Jane’s production start date, and Fassbender needed to be free to film X-Men: Days of Future Past, which is currently in production.
Fassbender was replaced by Jude Law, and Jane was scheduled to finally begin shooting on March 18. But original director Lynne Ramsay failed to show up for the first day of filming, indicating that she had quit the production – and prompting Law to exit the film as well.
Ramsay was replaced by Warrior director Gavin O’Connor. Law, in turn, was replaced by fellow Oscar nominee Cooper. But once again, scheduling conflicts have reared their ugly heads: “Regretfully, due to date conflicts between the film I am currently shooting for David O’Russell [American Hustle] and Jane’s Got a Gun, I am unable to join Natalie, Joel, Noah and Gavin on this truly exciting project,” Cooper told THR, explaining his exit.
At least Cooper’s move won’t delay the film any further. Jane is currently in a planned shutdown phase, set in motion when O’Connor stepped up to its helm. Maybe things just move a bit slower in the Old West.