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Matthew Newton was attached to direct Eve, but dropped out of the project following a mounting backlash over a history of alleged assault.
After the original announcement of the project, a Care2 petition was circulated asking that Chastain — a vocal proponent of the Time’s Up movement — drop Newton from the film. In 2010, the Australian filmmaker’s then-fiancee Rachael Taylor accused him of “two unprovoked assaults” and was granted a two-year domestic violence order against him, an order he later breached.
Two weeks ago, Newton exited the project, writing in a statement: “Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film Eve that I will be stepping down as director. Since the announcement of this film, the responses, which are powerful and important, have not fallen on deaf ears. I am profoundly aware that I have a responsibility to lead where I have failed in the past.”
Chastain is not just toplining Eve, which centers on a female assassin, but is a key part of the behind-the-camera team as well, acting as a producer via her Freckle Films banner. Voltage Pictures is financing.
Taylor also directed Get on Up and The Girl on the Train, and he is currently working on the Blumhouse thriller Ma, which will reunite him with The Help’s Octavia Spencer.
Taylor and Chastain are keeping their collaboration moving forward as the two are also developing The Eyes of Tammy Faye, with Chastain attached to star in and produce the film.
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