General News

Director quits troubled Gyllenhaal movie

By:
Jul 14, 2010 | 6:15am EDT

David O. Russell has walked away from the troubled project, about a woman who fights for better health care in the U.S. after getting shot in the head.

The movie has been plagued by difficulties since filming began in 2008 - shoots were halted several times due to unpaid fees to crew and acting guild members. It came as producer David Bergstein had to fight off creditors after failing to properly bankroll the movie.

A new financier, Ronald Tutor, has since come on board - but Russell feels unable to continue working on the film.

He tells The Hollywood Reporter, "This has been a painful process for me. The multiple production delays and stoppages, which were caused by David Bergstein and preceded Ron Tutor's direct involvement with me, have now spanned two years, and the circumstances under which the film would now be completed are much different on several fundamental levels than when we embarked several years ago.

"I, unfortunately, am no longer involved in the project and cannot call it 'my' film. I wish Ron Tutor well."

Tutor adds, "(Russell) conducted himself like a perfect gentleman. I understood his position. It really didn't have anything to do with him but with others, and we just reached a point where I couldn't do what he wanted.

"But it was a decent negotiation between the two of us. No lawyers. No idle threats, just two people trying to clean something up, and we couldn't get there. It was surprising and disappointing, but I understood."

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