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On Monday, Lynne Ramsay was set to begin shooting the western Jane Got a Gun, with Natalie Portman (who is also producing) as a woman who, with a former lover, defends her homestead and spouse against bandits that wounded her husband. Joel Edgerton and Jude Law are also in the cast, with Law replacing Michael Fassbender.

But when day broke on Monday and the cast and crew were in place, Ramsay was nowhere to be found. For reasons unknown to the public, Ramsay didn’t show up, and was effectively fired (or quit) as a result.

Producer/financier Scott Steindorff said yesterday that he and the cast and crew were committed to the film and that a new director would be hired. Now, Warrior director Gavin O’Connor is in talks to make the film, and will reportedly begin directing on Thursday.

Update: Jude Law has now exited the production. Details here.

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Briefly: Just as Mad Max: Fury Road gears up to start production, Paramount is trying to get in on the post-apocalyptic action. The studio is in talks to buy Brian Duffield‘s script Monster Problems, which Shawn Levy will produce. (Levy produced The Watch and directed Date Night, Real Steel and the Night at the Museum films.)

There aren’t a lot of details on the film so far, but THR calls the script “a post-apocalyptic road movie in the vein of Mad Max and Zombieland with a John Hughes-esque love story at its center.” (So, it really is like Zombieland, then, since that had its own vague stab at a John Hughes sorta romance at the center.)

Levy is about to direct The Internship for Fox, which will re-team the Wedding Crashers duo of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, so it might be a couple months before we hear any further info about this one. Lets hope the title promises more than metaphorical monsters — I want to see some real post-apocalyptic monster action.

 

Kelly Reichardt (Meek’s Cutoff) isn’t going to have the market cornered when it comes to new female-led Westerns. Scottish director Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ratcatcher) is now attached to direct a film called Jane Got a Gun. And now the project has Natalie Portman attached to star and produce. Read More »

Each December since 2004, studio executive Franklin Leonard has compiled the best unproduced screenplays of the year, as voted by hundreds of execs, agency guys, and high-level assistants. Titled The Black List, the compendium highlights both established screenwriters and up-and-comers, and has served as a launching pad in the past for projects like Juno, Lars and the Real Girl, and (500) Days of Summer. Last year’s list included Margin Call, Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Hunger Games, and Snow White and the Huntsman.

It should be noted that the headline is somewhat misleading — some of these screenplays have already been acquired and are already in development, though according to Leonard none will have entered principal photography by December 31, 2011. Also worth pointing out is that, as in previous years, there have been rumors that some of the participants have been accused of using the Black List to promote their own clients or friends. Finally, as Leonard reminds us each time, “The Black List is not a ‘best of’ list. It is, at best, a ‘most liked’ list.”

Regardless, we can always rely on the Black List to stir up conversation among both industry insiders and outside spectators alike, so without further ado, hit the jump for the complete 2011 list.

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