Yesterday, DC fans received quite a shock when it was reported that Robert Pattinson had tested positive for COVID-19 just three days after production on Matt Reeves' The Batman picked back up in the United Kingdom. It should be noted that Warner Bros. has not confirmed the crew member's identity out of privacy concerns. In addition, it's unclear whether Pattinson (if he does indeed have the virus) is showing overt signs of the disease or if he is asymptomatic.
Naturally, the movie was placed on pause for the second time since the studio decided to shut down the set in March. However, the latest Gotham intermission seemed to have been short-lived because Variety was reporting that the shoot (taking place at the WB sound stages in Leavesden, Hertfordshire) was underway once again, but without Pattinson, who must now quarantine for a period of at least two weeks.
Now, however, Variety (provided with a denial Warner Bros.) says that filming remains on pause as cast and crew who had direct contact with Pattison head into quarantine. Props and sets continue to be built as the studio does contact tracing. It's not yet known exactly when the shoot will be able to pick back up. Another prolonged hiatus would reportedly cost the studio over $6 million.
The Daily Mail, which first reported that production was back on track, claimed that 130 crew members who did not have direct contact with Pattinson were back on set and "working 'round the clock" to film scenes without the project's central star. They added that Reeves was focusing on sequences that don't involve Bruce Wayne or else relying heavily on Pattinson's body double wherever possible.
"Crew can be replaced as most are freelance and hired for the duration of the shoot, but it would be disastrous if another major actor gets the virus," wrote The Daily Mail. According to them, Pattinson allegedly showed up to work this week with an elevated temperature before being sent home by a designated nurse, who recommended that he be tested for the novel coronavirus. The test is said to have come back as positive on Thursday. In a statement to Variety, Lyndsay Duthie (CEO of the Production Guild of Great Britain) said she was confident in the country's strict production safety protocols.
"The behavior of U.K. cast and crew have been exemplary,” she said. "Wanting to return to work, everyone has embraced the comprehensive measures required of them and as a result many productions have been back on set and filming safely for weeks already. Where we have seen productions abroad where a cast or crew member has tested positive, precautions have been taken as required to enable them to start filming again as soon as they had the all clear."
The Batman is scheduled to arrive in theaters Oct. 1, 2021.