Natalie Portman's Disastrous Western Will Finally Saddle On Up to Theaters in 2016


After countless production and distribution disasters, Jane Got a Gun, the Natalie Portman-starring western about a woman who teams up with a former boyfriend to save her husband from violent outlaws, is set for a 2016 release: the latest official trailer can be seen above.

Jane Got a Gun developed a revolving door of directors and principal actors in production, with Michael Fassbender, Jude Law, and Bradley Cooper all signed on at one point to co-star. (With all three dropping out, the two lead male roles eventually went to Joel Edgerton and Ewan McGregor.) Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) was originally supposed to direct the project, but did not show up on the first day of shooting. She was replaced by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) and was sued by the film’s producers—who claimed Ramsay was drunk and abusive on set—in 2014. They settled the lawsuit that year.

Even with all that, the film was initially set for a 2014 release date, but Jane Got a Gun has been continually pushed back. Earlier this year, Relativity Media—the film’s distribution company—was forced to relinquish its hold on the movie after filing for bankruptcy. The Weinstein Co. now plans to release it in February of 2016. (The French release was supposed to be earlier, but was delayed in light of the November Paris terrorist attacks.)

The trailer shows glimpses of shootout scenes intercut with Portman delivering soundbites like “They come to my house? I’m gonna protect it” and “There’s only one way in and one way out” in a questionable accent. (McGregor’s accent—and comically darkened eyebrows—are equally heavy-handed.) This does not bode well, though frankly—even if production had been a completely streamlined process and the movie looked better than it does—I’d still be suspicious as I refuse to trust any Western that shows frontier people looking relatively hot and clean.

Hats off to the true Jane of the genre:

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