The film is no stranger to change or setbacks. Lynne Ramsey (We Need To Talk About Kevin) was originally signed to direct but quit on the first day of production and was quickly replaced by Warrior director Gavin O’Connor. Portman’s co-stars Michael Fassbender (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), and Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes) left in succession shortly after. Joel Edgerton (Exodus: Gods and Kings), Noah Emmerich (TV’s The Americans), and Portman’s Star Wars co-star Ewan McGregor were eventually brought in.
Jan Got a Gun follows Jane Hammond (Portman) and her husband Bill (Noah Emmerich) who are starting a new life together after being on the run from violent gangs. When Bill is found shot dead, Jane has to fend off the gang with her ex-fiance (Edgerton).
The change in release date could be seen as a positive sign as far as distributor The Weinstein Company’s opinion of the film goes. February is usually the time when studios release movies in which they lack confidence to find an audience, which westerns have recently been among the worst at. For every 3:10 To Yuma and Django Unchained there’s a Lone Ranger and Cowboys & Aliens. Furthermore, female-led westerns have struggled as well, the most notorious being 1994’s Bad Girls starring Andie Macdowell, Drew Barrymore, Madeleine Stowe, and Mary Stuart Masterson.
The film is set to release September 4, 2015, with the horror-comedy Kitchen Sink the only other film scheduled that weekend.