EXCLUSIVE: Thanks to some persuasion by famed attorney and the film’s principal financier David Boies, Jane Got A Gun has just been extricated from Relativity Media ahead of an expected Chapter 11 filing tomorrow. Boies, the attorney who has been involved in everything from successfully suing states over Proposition 8 that led to a Supreme Court victory in 2013 to defending Sony in the hacking case, is principal backer of the film that’s produced by Zack Schiller, the son of Boies’s law partner Jonathan Schiller. The original deal was for Relativity and The Weinstein Company to distribute together, with Relativity releasing September 4. When Relativity hit the rocks with its debtors, the attorney did his best to pull back the picture. That just happened. The prime movers on this were Tucker Tooley, Ryan Kavanaugh’s right hand guy who is expected to stay on and help clean up whatever form the distressed Relativity ultimately takes, and Zack Schiller (acting for Boies and Scott Steindorff.)
It’s unclear at this point whether The Weinstein Company might put out this film (Boies has a very close relationship with the company), but I’m told that it hasn’t been screened for distributors since it first sold, and that the backers will do what is needed to get the picture released in first quarter 2016. The important thing today was to break free from Relativity and not be subject to being frozen in a bankruptcy proceeding. That task was made easier in that Relativity didn’t finance this, but rather acquired it after the fact. Relativity was cooperative, perhaps a good sign for the other completed pictures whose backers are twisting in the wind.
It’s another small victory for a movie that has weathered more adversity than most. Jane Got A Gun lost its original director, Lynne Ramsay, who exited on the first day it was to begin production in Santa Fe. That’s usually fatal, but the backers and producers were somehow able to keep the cast on the set, until they made a deal with Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor. He got the picture underway. The turbulence continued; the film took a hiatus as O’Connor did some work on the script, and Jude Law dropped out. The fact they made it to the finish line, with Natalie Portman starring with Ewan McGregor, Noah Emmerich and Rodrigo Santoro, was considered a small miracle.