UPDATE, 10:51 AM: After the scathing lawsuit filed earlier this week against her by the producers of Jane Got A Gun, director Lynne Ramsay has responded. In a brief statement today, Ramsay’s reps says she hasn’t seen the suit yet but that from what has been reported, the claims in it are “simply false.” The director suddenly exited the Natalie Portman pic the weekend before filming was scheduled to start in New Mexico in March. If that wasn’t controversy enough, the breach of contract and fraud complaint (read more below) filed on in federal court on November 4 lashed out at Ramsay, calling her “abusive” and “disruptive.” The suit also goes after her for failing “to provide the writing and directing services” she was already paid $140,000 for before filming was set to start. Additionally, the suit alleges that Ramsay instructed her WME agents not to give the producers back the $360,000 that the agency is holding in escrow as part of her pay from the film. Ramsay was supposed to receive $750,000 for directing Jane Got A Gun plus bonuses. The complaint is seeking more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial. Here’s the full Ramsay statement from today:
Lynne Ramsay has not been served with this lawsuit and, when she is, she will respond in court and not in the media. That said, the allegations as recently reported are simply false. Lynne looks forward to presenting the truth about this situation in the proper forum.
PREVIOUSLY, NOV. 6 PM: She left the Natalie Portman Western in March before shooting was set to start and now the producers want Lynne Ramsay to pay up. More specifically, Jane Got A Gun Production, LLC wants an injunction to force Ramsay’s agency WME to give back $360,000 it claims is still being held in escrow as well as more than $500,000 in damages to be determined at trial. The breach of contract and fraud complaint (read it here) was filed earlier this week in federal court in New Mexico. Ramsay is the only defendant named in the filing that local station KRQE first reported. The producers, who include Scott Steindorff and Regency Boies, allege that under a contract agreed to in July 2012, Ramsay was initially paid $90,000 to direct the pic and $50,000 to fine-tune the Brian Duffield script. She was to receive $750,000 in total for her directing work on the pic plus 5% of adjusted gross and box office bonuses. Ramsay would have gotten another $25,000 for each Oscar or Golden Globe nomination the movie received and $50,000 more if it won one of those awards. However on location in New Mexico during early 2013 the complaint says the We Need To Talk About Kevin helmer “failed to provide the writing and directing services” on the film. The plaintiffs also claim that this “unreasonably delayed completion of a final budget for the Picture, and of the Picture itself.” Further more, they luridly allege in the 44-page complaint that Ramsay was “repeatedly under the influence of alcohol, was abusive to members of the cast and crew and was generally disruptive.” Portman herself and producer Aleen Keshishian are not party to the suit.
Related: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Nears U.S. Deal With Relativity/Weinstein
Still with all that, and with Ramsay supposedly renegotiating her contact, the producers deposited $360,000 with WME on March 12, 2013 as the agency acted as an escrow agent. Six days later, after supposedly delaying the start of filming twice, Ramsay left Jane Got A Gun. Warrior director Gavin O’Conner was brought on board in late March to helm the film. The plaintiffs of the troubled pic (Michael Fassbender and Jude Law left the film as did Bradley Cooper) say that WME hasn’t returned the money to them despite “multiple requests” and that Ramsay has told the agency not to hand over the dough. If that wasn’t enough, the complaint says that Ramsay made “false and disparaging statements” to potential investors about Jane Got A Gun and caused a number of vital crew members to leave when she split. Doubt that this case, which has been assigned to Magistrate Judge Alan C. Torgerson to handle, is going to be without some courtroom drama of its own if it actually makes it to trial.