The American western drama Jane Got a Gun has seen it fair share of troubles, having lost its original director, Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) on the first day of filming; and then, getting its originally-scheduled 2014 release date pushed back more than a year. Nonetheless, the movie will see the light of day at last in 2015, and newly-unveiled screenshots provide a first look at the finished product.
Jane Got a Gun, as was directed by Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) and written by Brian Duffield, stars Natalie Portman as Jane Hammond; and unlike her Jane Foster from the Thor movies, this Jane is raising a family and maintaining a farm on the untamed American frontier. However, when her outlaw husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) shows up with eight bullets in him and his old gang in hot pursuit, Jane seeks help from her ex-lover, Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton), whom she hasn’t seen in a decade.
Duffield’s screenplay once made Hollywood’s Black List of Best Unproduced Scripts; he went on to co-write the YA franchise installment The Divergent Series: Insurgent, which will end up reaching theaters nearly half a year before Jane does (as a result of the latter being delayed so long). The movie’s supporting cast also includes Ewan McGregor, as well as Rodrigo Santoro (Xerxes from the 300 films) and Boyd Holbrook (Hatfields & McCoys), playing the marauding cowboys whom Portman and Edgerton face off against.
Unanimous Entertainment (one of the production companies behind Jane) has posted a series of images from the film, which you can peruse through below. Those who check out the company’s site may notice it’s in need of an update, since Jane is still listed as being set for a February 2014 launch.
These Jane screenshots offer (among other things) some striking usage of light and shadows for atmospheric effect, which bodes well for the actual film’s cinematography by Mandy Walker (Shattered Glass, Australia). Duffield’s premise, admittedly, has the potential to play out as somewhat melodramatic; with the Oscar-winning Portman and Edgerton acting under the direction of a filmmaker known for thoughtful, emotionally-gritty dramas, though, there’s fair reason to think Jane could be a fine addition to the western genre.
It’s really only the release delays and production woes that raise concerns about Jane Got a Gun being a good film, on paper. Last year’s The Homesman – another proto-feminist western like Jane – didn’t make much of a dent at the box office, serving as a reminder that westerns aren’t always an easy sell at the box office, either. Still, here’s hoping for the best with Portman’s latest trip back in time.
Jane Got a Gun opens in U.S. theaters on September 4th, 2015.