Lynne-RamseyJane Got a Gun began production at the start of the week out in Santa Fe, and with a superb cast led by Natalie Portman, this is definitely a film we’ve been looking forward to.

But now things are left up in the air, as director Lynne Ramsey has exited the project. And Deadline are reporting that she did so by not showing up to work on Monday for the first day of production, abruptly dropping out of the film.

Producers Portman and Scott Steindorff (The Lincoln Lawyer; Runner, Runner) were included in those who learned of Ramsey’s exit on the first day of production.

Led by Portman, the cast includes Joel Edgerton, Jude Law, and Rodrigo Santoro, with Brian Duffield set to make his debut penning the script.

Jane Got a Gun centres on a woman whose outlaw husband returns home riddled with bullets. Convinced his gang will return to finish him off and destroy her farm, the woman turns to an ex-lover she hasn’t seen in a decade to help her defend the farm.

Ramsey’s exit comes as a surprise to all. Her last feature, We Need to Talk About Kevin, won her critical acclaim back in 2011, and she followed that up with the BAFTA-winning short film, Swimmer, last year.

As of yet, no details have surfaced as to what exactly happened. But we do know that the cast and crew are still showing up to work, and Steindorff says the project is close to finding a new director.

“I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast… I’m shocked and so disappointed someone would do this to 150 crew members who devoted so much time, energy, commitment and loyalty to a project, and then have the director not show up. It is insane somebody would do this to other people. I feel more for the crew and their families, but we are keeping the show going on, directors are flying in, and a replacement is imminent.”

With such tight time constraints, it will be interesting to see in the coming days who has been flying in to meet with the production. Portman and Steindorff are no doubt working incredibly hard to keep things on the right track – as much as possible in a situation like this – and we’re really hoping that things will work out for them. More as we get it.