Australian actor/filmmaker Matthew Newton has dropped out of the upcoming Jessica Chastain-led action thriller “Eve” following an extensive online backlash against his involvement.
Newton was set to direct the film, but also wrote the script that will be used during production of the film. When the project was announced the other week, Newton’s long documented history of alleged assault and domestic violence quickly came back into the spotlight – especially as Chastain has been one of the more vocal #MeToo supporters over the past year. Newton gave his official statement on Friday morning, saying:
“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.
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.”
Chastain will both star and produce the film via her own Freckle Films in collaboration with Voltage Films. Kelly Carmichael, Nicolas Chartier, and Dominic Rustam will produce.