Studio executives behind Natalie Portman's upcoming film Jane Got A Gun are scrambling to find a new director after Lynne Ramsay failed to show up on the first day of production.

The cast and crew of the indie Western, about a woman forced to defend her farm when her outlaw husband is injured in a shoot-out, arrived at the Sante Fe, New Mexico film set on Monday (18Mar13), only to learn Ramsay had dropped out of the project.

Scott Steindorff, who is financing the film through his Scott Pictures label, tells, "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."

And Steindorff is now considering legal action against the We Need To Talk About Kevin filmmaker after hiring a power lawyer. He explains, "Marty Singer has been retained. My focus is on making this movie, but I will protect all my rights. This comes down to an irresponsible act by one person."

The news comes just days after Michael Fassbender dropped out of the film for unknown reasons; he has been replaced by Australian actor Joel Edgerton.