New Portman Hit Falls; Beckham in China

New Portman Hit Falls; Beckham in China

New Natalie Portman Hit Falls at First Hurdle

One of the things that’s generally regarded as a prerequisite for making a film is a director – in other words, most films need one. Send your sympathy then to Natalie Portman and the rest of the cast and crew of what was tipped to be the underground hit of the year – Jane Got A Gun.

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After receiving wide praise for its script, the Western starring and produced by Portman was due to begin filming on Monday when it emerged that award winning director Lynne Ramsay decided that, actually, she didn’t like directing very much at all – and fled the set.

Co-Producer Scott Steindorf who has put up most of the money for the film was not amused – much less given that Michael Fassbender, who was cast to star alongside Portman, also quit a week earlier.

“I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast,” Steindorff said.

“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 for the crew and their families…”

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And his millions of dollars, of course.

Best of all, Lynne Ramsay had signed what’s known in the industry as a ‘pay or play’ contract, meaning she gets paid regardless of whether the film gets made without her – something Steindorff is going to great lengths to prevent by hiring some of the most fearsome litigators in Hollywood.

Beckham Touches Down in China

Football icon David Beckham has arrived in China in his new role as the country’s ‘global football ambassador’.

As part of his helpful tax-avoiding contract with French team Paris Saint-Germain, there is a clause that allows the former England star to represent the Chinese Super League (CSL) to help restore the image of the sport there after a slew of match fixing scandals.

The 37-year-old touched down in Beijing for a four-day visit in a whistle-stop tour across the country.

‘This is a significant year in Chinese football history as we usher in 20 years of developing this sport professionally and mark the 10-year milestone of the Chinese Super League – which today reaches 300 million television viewers and 4.49 million spectators annually,” he said, honestly not reading from an autocue. Honestly.