The Wild Story Of Natalie Portman's Western

Natalie Portman, who for years was one of the biggest names in Hollywood, has kept a pretty low-profile over the past few years. She's only appeared in American theaters once since 2011, in the 2013 Marvel movie Thor: The Dark World. Not exactly what was expected of her after she took home the Best Actress Oscar for Black Swan in 2011. But Portman is finally set to return to theaters on January 29 with the Western Jane Got a Gun. And although it's great to see Portman leading a film again, one movie definitely isn't enough to satisfy her fans. So, will Jane Got a Gun have a sequel?

Don't bet on it. Although the film, which tells the story of Portman's Jane Hammond taking up arms with her former lover Dan Frost (Joel Edgerton) in order to defend her ailing husband and young daughter from a vicious gang led by Ewan McGregor's Colin McCan, sounds pretty interesting, it barely got made. One would think that a film whose title bears remarkable resemblance to an Aerosmith song would have no trouble making it into theaters, but Jane Got a Gun has literally spent years getting to this point. For real, the fact that this movie is finally being seen by the public is a miracle, and a testament to Portman's star power and perseverance to make it happen.

2012 — In The Beginning

Portman was cast to star in the film way back in May of 2012. Yep, almost four years ago. The plan was for her to lead the film under the direction of Lynne Ramsay. Later that year, Michael Fassbender came on board to portray Frost, and Edgerton was slated to portray the villain, who at that time was named John Bishop. But then Fassbender left the film due to a scheduling conflict, Edgerton was recast to fill his role, and Jude Law signed on as the villain. OK, a bit of a shuffle, but things appeared to be shaping up nicely, with filming finally set to begin on March 19, 2013.

2013 — Ch-ch-changes

But then Ramsay didn't show up for the first day of filming, and announced that she had left the project. Director Gavin O'Connor was hired to replace her the next day, but he was quickly faced with the prospect of finding a new villain because Law bailed on the same day, citing that he had only signed on to work with Ramsay. The movie also lost its cinematographer, and underwent an extensive rewrite after O'Connor joined the production.

Then, in a bit of good news, the movie scored a major coup in April when they managed to convince Bradley Cooper to take on Law's role of the villain, lending the film some serious star power alongside Portman. However, their happiness was short lived, as Cooper dropped out a month later to film American Hustle. Remember that movie? Came out years ago? Anyway, McGregor replaced Cooper later that month, and filming was finally set to take place.

2014 — The Struggle Is Real

After completing filming, the movie was scheduled to be released by Relativity Media on August 29, 2014 — over two years after Portman first signed on to star. A long wait, for sure, but hopefully it would be worth it. But then in April of 2014, the studio moved the release date back to February 20, 2015. A lengthy delay, but at least it finally looked like the film would see the light of day at long last because surely they wouldn't move it again.

2015 — Is This Real Life?

Until they did. Relativity delayed the film's premiere date yet again, this time pushing it all the way out to September 4, 2015. The reason for the constant rescheduling was due to Relativity's financial struggles, and after the studio filed for bankruptcy in July of 2015 they lost the distribution rights to the film entirely.

2016 — FINALLY

The Weinstein Company then picked up the rights to the film, releasing a trailer in October of last year and finally setting a release date for January 29, 2016 — nearly four years after Portman first joined the project. With just about a week to go until the film's scheduled release, it looks like audiences will finally get the chance to see Portman shooting bad guys in the Old West. And it's about time.

Images: The Weinstein Company; giphy.com