A few days ago, we shared with you the rumor broken by YouTuber Doomcock that Robert Pattinson’s failure to get into superhero shape for The Batman was the real reason production shut down last month.
The trades reported the unexpected shutdown was due to the Twilight actor coming down with coronavirus. Doomcock’s sources told him that was simply a cover story and director Matt Reeves sent Pattinson home for a few weeks to bulk up.
At this time, the incident and brewing tensions between Reeves and his lead actor can only be labeled “rumor.” However, another party is corroborating the story based on what he has heard.
Director, actor, and makeup effects man Gary J. Tunnicliffe (Hellraiser, Sleepy Hollow) appeared on Midnight Edge’s In the Morning and was asked about these rumors.
Tunnicliffe’s connections told him there were tensions between Pattinson and Reeves and the former was being difficult to work with.
One of them denied COVID shut down filming. When Tunnicliffe pressed the person if it was something to do with their lead actor, they responded, “maybe.”
Tunnicliffe also heard the rumors of Reeves’ shock at Pattinson’s size and the worry that the stuntmen are palpably bigger than him.
“If it is true, it’s a very difficult situation as a director,” said Tunnicliffe who went into his own experiences with actors during shoots.
“I like to think I have a good relationship with actors but there have been two instances where I had an actor dig their heels in the ground against me,” he related. “It does put you in a harsh situation.”
Continuing, Tunnicliffe quoted James Cameron who once said “the most powerful person” on the set is an actor when you’re two weeks into filming.
“They hold all the pennies really,” Tunnicliffe explained since a director is quite beholden to them. So much so, filmmakers will get along just to move the process forward – far from the stereotype of “ruthless” consequences-based set rules.
“There is an awful lot of political dancing that has to be done,” he added, “like, if an actor looks a certain way or hasn’t stood up to their obligation, it has to go through their agent” and up the chain of command.
Tunnicliffe continued, “While you’re doing that kind of thing, production is slowed down or stopped even while these negotiations are being had.”
He shared a story of a “bust up” and frustrations on the set of Blade because director Stephen Norrington was put through two-hour conversations every day to hear about people’s demands when all he wanted was to finish the movie.
Tunnicliffe then discussed interaction with an actor in one of his films. The actor changed his mind about the way a line was said in a wide shot versus a close-up in separate takes. He didn’t budge despite the pleadings of Tunnicliffe and other actors.
“If Reeves is having those situations with Pattinson, it can make some very ugly filmmaking,” said Tunnicliffe – adding he’s heard the rumblings Reeves just wants to be done with the picture.
Asked how that will impact Warner Bros’. ambitions for a trilogy, Tunnicliffe sees two outcomes: Robert Pattinson is a nightmare but the film’s potential success could keep him locked in as Batman.
The second scenario is if the film flops Pattinson won’t be the Caped Crusader any longer. To illustrate his point, Tunnicliffe cited Val Kilmer’s behavior on Batman Forever leading to the casting of George Clooney.
Over at Marvel, Tunnicliffe noted Robert Downey, Jr., became the face of the franchise as Iron Man though there are stories of him being difficult on the set of the first film in 2007. He went onto say Hollywood is “quirky” and fickle and anyone at any level can be difficult.
However tough it is to work with Pattinson, Tunnicliffe says, would bode more for his next project because directors talk to each other about what actors are cooperative and “amenable”.
Does the Midnight’s Edge conversation increase the credibility of the rumors? Is Pattinson a problem child on set? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.