Batman has previously fought and defeated the Joker (several of them), Mr. Freeze and Bane on the big screen. But the coronavirus pandemic is proving a more wily foe. Production on The Batman — Matt Reeves’s highly-anticipated reboot of the feature film franchise starring Robert Pattinson as a younger, more inexperienced Dark Knight — has shut down for a second time after the Twilight star reportedly tested positive for the virus.
“A member of The Batman production has tested positive for COVID-19 and is isolating in accordance with established protocols,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement provided to Variety. “Filming is temporarily paused.” Vanity Fair subsequently identified Pattinson, who was spotted walking mask-less in London in July, as the crew member in question. Warner Bros. and the actor’s representatives have yet to respond to the outlet’s reporting.
Production on The Batman, which is filming in the United Kingdom, originally shut down in March when the pandemic’s first wave swept across the globe. The halt in shooting forced Warner Bros. to adjust the film’s release date: originally scheduled to hit theaters on June 25, 2021, the movie was pushed back to October 1, 2021. Speaking with Yahoo Entertainment in August, Reeves’s co-writer, Mattson Tomlin, said that safety was upmost in mind as The Batman crew reassembled. “The whole goal is to make it safe,” Tomlin said. “It’s a really scary time out there, so not putting peoples’ lives in jeopardy has to be the first goal, and I know they’re doing that in spades.”
Besides The Batman, the third entry in Universal’s Jurassic World franchise, Jurassic World: Dominion, has also been shooting in the U.K. under intensive restrictions. So far, that Colin Trevorrow-directed film has avoided any delays, although it did scale back a location shoot in Malta following a coronavirus outbreak. Appearing at the DC Fandome virtual fan event on Aug. 24, Reeves confirmed that only 25 percent of The Batman had been filmed prior to the March shutdown before unveiling a teaser trailer that immediately went viral. “Look, we’ve only shot 25 percent of the movie,” he told viewers. “So there’s so much! This is just scratching the surface.”
According to Variety, The Batman had three months of material left to film prior to the March shutdown. Despite the current Pattinson-caused hiatus, the studio still hopes to complete production by the end of 2020. “Matt is on a journey to make a stunningly emotional and very relevant film that has been around longer than any of us, and that involves making some changes to reflect the world around us today,” Tomlin told Yahoo. “Honestly I think it’s going to blow people away.”
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
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