On Thursday, in the midst of The Batman shutting down production again, Deadline caught up with WarnerMedia Studios & Networks boss Ann Sarnoff to talk about it.
While Warner Bros. executives cannot speak about the health details of employees, i.e Batman star Robert Pattinson, who reports identified as being the person on set set diagnosed with COVID-19, Sarnoff was asked about the long-term implications about the pic shutting down, i.e. higher production cost, length of shutdown, and whether the feature will need to move from its current Oct. 1, 2021 release date.
“We’re still in the middle of investigating what is the situation. We’re pausing temporarily for now until we have more information, but we have all the protocols set up to do contact tracing and hopefully get back up into production very soon,” Sarnoff said.
The Batman shut down out of safety concerns when the pandemic started back in mid-March. Filmmaker Matt Reeves had shot about a quarter of the movie by that point, enough to create a teaser trailer that wowed out of last August’s DC Fandome and clocked 20.8M YouTube views on Warner Bros. U.S. channel.
Variety previously reported that shooting on the film had resumed without Pattinson, citing a story in the Daily Mail. However, studio insiders denied that report.
Crew members are still doing construction work on sets and props at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, U.K., but people on the film team who were in contact with Pattinson are quarantining. The production is still doing contact tracing. It is unlikely that shooting will re-commence until the roughly two-week quarantine period ends.
It is also unclear if Pattinson has symptoms of the disease or if he is asymptomatic. Warner Bros., the studio behind the film, did not confirm that the star had tested positive and would only say that a member of the production had coronavirus.