Director Matthew Newton Leaves Jessica Chastain Action Pic Eve

Director Matthew Newton

by James White |
Published on

A little over a week ago, word arrived that Jessica Chastain would be starring in a new action movie called Eve for director Matthew Newton. Now, following a backlash focused on his history of alleged assault and domestic violence misaligned with Chastain's commitment to the #MeToo movement and the protection and promotion of female filmmakers, he's stepping down.

Acknowledging his bipolar disorder diagnosis and past problems, Newton talked about his decision. "Yesterday I notified Jessica Chastain and the other producers on the film Eve that I will be stepping down as director," he said in a statement. "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. I can never undo the harm that I’ve caused the people I’ve cared about and I carry that shame and responsibility with me every day.

"Over the past eight years, I have been working extensively with healthcare professionals to help me overcome my addiction and mental health illness. For the past six years, I have lived a quiet and sober life. All I can do now is try to be a living amends and hopefully contribute to the positive change occurring in our industry." Newton pleaded guilty in 2007 to physically assaulting his then-girlfriend, actress Brooke Satchwell. In 2010, Newton’s fiancee Rachael Taylor accused him of two “unprovoked assaults” and was granted a two-year domestic violence order against him.

Chastain is on to produce and star in the film, described as a character-driven action movie, with a script written by Newton. now she'll be on the lookout for someone new to handle the film.

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