Robert Pattinson & director Matt Reeves are beefing over ‘grueling’ Batman production

Robert Pattinson continues filming 'The Batman'

The Batman’s England-based production will probably go down as one of the most troubled productions of 2020, the Pandemic Year. Director Matt Reeves had to shut down production back in March, when everything was locking down. The tried to start up again in late August, only to see Robert Pattinson catch the coronavirus in a matter of days, so production had to be halted yet again. In September through December, there have been many starts and stops and temporary suspensions, and it doesn’t even sound like the studio is doing regular Covid testing on crew and cast. Apparently, Robert Pattinson’s relationship with Matt Reeves has become quite strained.

New Batman actor Robert Pattinson is battling a Joker behind the scenes while making the Caped Crusader’s new movie. The Hollywood hunk, who is taking over from Ben Affleck as the iconic superhero for The Batman, has been pushed to breaking point by “control freak” director Matt Reeves, those on set have told me. Insiders say New York-born Matt has forced Twilight star Robert to do upwards of 50 takes inside the bulky Batman suit, leaving him, and the crew, exhausted.

My source said: “Filming has been a gruelling process, especially for Robert, as Matt is such a perfectionist. He’ll insist on doing scenes over and over again and get bogged down in the tiny detail. Some­times it’s like he doesn’t know when to stop. Matt has done block­busters before, but this is another level. Batman is arguably the most popular superhero of all and by the time the film is released it will be the Dark Knight’s first solo movie in ten years. Warner Bros can’t afford for the fanbase to be disappointed and have thrown £90million at the film. No one is denying that this is a high stakes production and that Matt is feeling the pressure to get it right. But Robert has had a tough time on these franchise movies before. He hated Twilight by the time it wrapped, and the last thing anyone wants is for him to become jaded.”

The Batman, with Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman and Colin Farrell as The Penguin, has suffered multiple issues due to the Covid crisis, forcing its release to be pushed back five months to March 4, 2022. Production was scrapped in March this year after the pandemic took hold and again in September after R-Patz reportedly caught the virus. The Sun revealed last month that the film’s stunt team had also been forced into self-isolation after another positive test.

An insider said: “All these setbacks have made Matt paranoid about catching Covid. It’s got to the point now where he’s been directing scenes while zipped up inside a puffa coat and with ski goggles on. As a Covid-secure outfit, it’s questionable. But if it makes him feel more at ease, everyone’s going with it.”

[From The Sun]

I mean… I think it’s just a typical personality clash, especially between a workaholic, perfectionist American director and a British guy who is known to be kind of a slob, and a guy who refused to even physically train for the role of Batman. Shades of “Americans are gauche for texting at 5 am!” It’s just a different work style, and everyone is under strain because of the pandemic as well. I’m not defending Reeves per se – I hate stories about directors demanding 50 takes – but clearly there’s a lot of sh-t happening at every level. I would imagine Reeves is getting leaned on hard by the studio too.

Robert Pattinson continues filming 'The Batman'

Robert Pattinson gets back to work on the set of 'The Batman' filming in Liverpool

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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61 Responses to “Robert Pattinson & director Matt Reeves are beefing over ‘grueling’ Batman production”

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  1. JT says:

    Batman is not an indie art house film. There are differ expectations for this sort of film which Pattinson should know working on twilight. He hated being apart of the franchise, which is why I was surprised he took this role to begin with. COVID is just adding extra pressure on top of everything else, so I don’t really blame Reeves. It must be difficult trying to keep every running smoothly right now. Rob will cash that check though and then spend 10 years trashing Batman like he did with Twilight if it doesn’t do well.

    • lucy2 says:

      Exactly. I don’t know why he took this role either. Surely he has plenty of money from Twilight and has since focused on art house films, this is such an odd choice. A role like that is a huge commitment, especially physically.

    • February-Pisces says:

      I think he realised it’s been a while since he’s had a huge box office hit so needed to get one under his belt. Indie films generally don’t make a lot of money and have limited release so I don’t know where to see a lot of his work. Twilight ended in 2012, 8 years ago and although I’m sure he’s relieved the hysteria has died down, if you fall too far off peoples radar your not going to get to pick and chose what work you do.

      • Deering24 says:

        Stardom has changed so much that it’s not enough to do a franchise, then work indies/theater primarily. To stay atop the casting A list, actors have to do franchise to keep their names out there. Especially since there are _so_ many movies out there now with stars that get released and you never hear about them. Lots of signal to noise.

    • Nerdista says:

      Ok but the twilight films were genuinely bad. If Reeves presented this as a unique take it would be tempting! And who you are at 20 isn’t who you are at 35. He’s allowed to try things again! I’ve tried to like hollandaise sauce like 50 times.

  2. Isa says:

    Genuinely can’t see him as Batman — he’s so slender and almost frail looking, and Batman is basically a brawler in most iterations I’m aware of. Maybe it’ll be different though.

    • Julie says:

      Maybe they’re trying to replicate Joaquin’s Joker with a heavy lean into his psyche. But honestly. DC is incapable of an original idea. If it worked once, they’ll copy paste it on to everything. Bruce Wayne needs to be lighter and playful, hiding his pain behind the play. But that’s just me.

    • whatever says:

      I’m not getting either. Pattinson always looks miserable and borderline unwell every time I see him. Does not give me superhero vibes.

      • Shannon says:

        He does look sickly in these pics, I’m still unclear on whether he’s supposed to look like his cheek has half-healed bruises?

    • Deering24 says:

      Heh—he looks more like Edward Cullen than he does as Bruce Wayne…or Edward Cullen. 🙂

  3. Amy Bee says:

    I’m wondering why he took the job in the first place? I didn’t think he was suited for the role of Batman.

  4. Sean Corrigan says:

    Maybe this film will make Wonder Woman 84 appear Oscar-worthy in comparison. It’s amazing how Disney/Marvel have been churning out great superhero films that have a cohesive storyline while Warner/DC still can’t get their act together.

    • Char says:

      Add the fact that WB president said there will be two interactions of Batman happening AT THE SAME TIME, so this R-Patz movie isn’t the only one as he and the director probably thought and you have a situation.

  5. HeatherC says:

    Maybe he needs 50 takes to get the scene right? I still am not feeling him as Batman anyway.

  6. Ang says:

    I read somewhere that the main reason (among others) was that Pattinson refused to do the required physical training and therefore the director was already upset and it went on from there.

  7. ce says:

    My interpretation is that Reeves is the problem, but because Pattinson is the big name here that it’s easier to blame him. 50 takes for a scene IS unreasonable: the average is like 10 or so? Remember that scene needs to be re-set for different camera angles. If you’re doing 50 takes you’re wasting a LOT of time and therefore money, plus the actor’s performance does not get BETTER when that much time passes, they burn out the performance. To me this reads like the director is not clear on what he wants so is trying everything and burning people out. Ps: don’t care if sparkles Batman didn’t work out. If that is his interpretation of the character they hired him to play, that is a valid choice

    • Juju says:

      CE I totally agree with all of your comments. 50 takes is idiotic and the actors will burn out. I also think Robert’s look and style is a huge part of why they hired him and they are leaning into his scrawny, emo look so the rumor about the lack of training confuses me. He also may have declined to workout because of COVID etc. it’s been a crap year so I’m giving RP the benefit of the doubt. He has always seemed like a dedicated actor in the past.

      • Darla says:

        Um, it’s not a rumor, he bragged about it. He also said guys that did work out (like the Marvel guys) ruined it for all men. No worries about his female costars starving themselves. He’s an entitled asshat. As for Reeves, he may also be an asshat, but I always say just because two aholes get into a fight, doesn’t make one of em not an ahole.

      • Deering24 says:

        The ecology of stardom has changed so much that the only way to keep your name on top of the pack is to do franchises. As well, there are _so_ many movies out there when you include streaming that it’s easy for careers to get lost in the noise.

  8. Oh_Hey says:

    Yeah. No. He’s woefully miscast and he started by not doing the training required for an intensely physical role. No one should be doing 50 takes and, at the expense of my own entertainment for the next few years, no one should be shooting anything right now. Having decided to go forward in both joining and then continuing the production the least Patterson can do is his job.

  9. Darla says:

    This casting rubbed me the wrong way after Pattison bragged about not training for the roll, even though he was contractually bound to it. Can you imagine a woman pulling this? Imagine an out of shape Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, if you will. The entire film industry would have a meltdown.

    • Redder says:

      He was being self-deprecating, which I feel like is difficult to pick up on during a print interview. He has trainers, and they have been interviewed and praised Rob. You’re obviously allowed your opinion to not like him/casting, but it’s not a sexist argument. He was joking.

      • Emma says:

        Honestly, Rob gives me the ‘cool guy’ vibes … like that popular hunk who wants to be super indie and chill and odd…but is ultimately a tool. This is just a vibe I personally get. He has some great agents because I can think of other actors for this role and honestly some of the indies he landed. Also earnestness in the UK is a massive massive no-no … self-deprecation, totally. We’ll see how this ends up. Didn’t some Hollywood Reporter journalist claim he had COVID?

  10. Mar says:

    Bad casting, but playing devil’s advocate, maybe Robby is beat up and cranky from Corona? Maybe he needs more naps?

    • Red Dog says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. If he had COVID, there is a very good chance he is doing well to show up at all. Fifty takes is dangerously irresponsible for anyone recovering from COVID.

      • trashaddict says:

        AND in a Batman suit. From what I recall actors saying, it’s hot and confining in those things.

  11. Implicit says:

    No it’s not a clash of personalities and it’s not OK that Director is an absolute Nimrod. The actors who are doing the takes 50 times are the ones who are going to get the coronavirus just like Robert already not this guy sitting in a puffy jacket with some goggles asking them to do it over and over again #No I hope the stupid movie sux

  12. Anname says:

    Yes I am biased, having been a Pattinson fan for many years, but Pattinson has never had a director complain about his work ethic, ever. In fact he consistently earns praise for his good attitude and commitment to the work. So the idea that he is not putting in the work into this giant role that he actively pursued is a bit crazy. All these rumors seem to stem from random youtubers and now a sketchy tabloid?

    If you look at his video Tenet interviews from late August, he is very much in shape. I have read interviews from two of his recent trainers about how seriously he takes the preparation. I will totally admit his GQ interview last May, with his typical trolling and self deprecation, did him no favors with the anti- Battinson crowd. He trolls hard, and that doesn’t translate in print interviews well. Look at all the comments even here who “read somewhere” that he isn’t working out at all, when that clearly isn’t the case. His Batman is lithe, not beefy.

    I do believe Reeves is under tremendous pressure and that the Batman set has plenty of grueling days. But I do not believe that Pattinson isn’t just as committed as Reeves, and that any beefing between the two has nothing to do with putting in the effort or willingness to do the work. Jeez just read any Lighthouse interview about what Eggers put Pattinson through filming that, and Eggers has nothing but praise for his professionalism and willingness to do as many takes as needed.

    Do you want to believe clickbait tabloids, or directors like Nolan, Eggers, Safdies, Denis etc regarding Pattinson’s commitment to his work? That’s what it boils down to I guess.

    • Kristen says:

      Agree with all of this. I’ve never heard a bad thing about Pattinson on set. He also makes 2-3 films a year, which doesn’t speak to a lazy work ethic. Matt Reeves, on the other hand, has never made a film this big and mostly directs TV – he may just not be the best fit for a production of this size, particularly with the added challenges of the pandemic.

      • Det20! says:

        Matt Reeves had commercial and critical success with the Planet Of The Apes films and they were pretty big productions. He is also very well known for Cloverfield and Let Me In and generally a decent property when it comes to directing talent (in his age bracket). He has done a film every two or three years for over a decade (which is a pretty normal average for a director). Not sure where you got the idea from that he mainly does tv. Even if: Quite a few famous directors started their careers in tv and tv advertising and that work should not be frowned upon. TV directors are often more used to time and budget restraints than feature film directors, so pressure is a factor there, too (albeit with less money for a single production).
        Apart from all that: The Scum… not the best source. Actually one of the worst.

    • Millennial says:

      I also think movie fans have unrealistic expectations about how “big” most of these actors can get naturally – especially when you start off as “small” as Pattinson. And I’m guessing Rob isn’t running out to get HGH, etc…. people just don’t have realistic expectations anymore in a world of The Rocks and Vin Diesels.

      Cavill and Evan’s have been lifting weights for 10+ years, so I’ll believe they are natty. Hemsworth I’ve never thought was natural. I could go on.

      So, Rob looking lithe and not beefy is pretty standard for 2 years of serious weight lifting.

      • Chris says:

        It also is down to genetics. Some people put on mass easily and some people don’t. I lift weights and put on muscle mass pretty easily (I’m a woman and I barely even take extra protein), my husband lifts weights and he doesn’t put on mass easily. I’m stockier and he’s more lean. Pattinson strikes me more as the lean type while Cavill and Evans are clearly the mass packing type. I could see how Pattinson is annoyed by the assumption that every guy who lifts weights will look like the Rock.

    • Abby says:

      I agree with this. I just watched Tenet yesterday, and Pattinson definitely was fitter than I expected. It was a physically challenging role.

    • February-Pisces says:

      I kinda don’t want him to be beefy. I don’t remember Michael keatons six pack (he may have had one, I just don’t know). I kinda like his goth vibe, it just seems to suit his batman. I don’t really care to see another beefed up superhero.

      Most people who work with rob seem to say really nice things about him. He seems to be the sort of guy who loves the art of film making, but hates the industry, hence why he works on mostly indie films. I actually remember reading a reddit post from a very famous actor (anonymous) about how much they hate the industry and being famous, and I did think it was rob, but it could have been anyone.

      • Dee Kay says:

        Keaton was the last actor who was able to play Batman as a character actor, giving him an actual personality and unique offbeat vibe. His Bruce Wayne came off like an eccentric billionaire, and it was believable that no one thought Wayne, a little goofy and a little lonely and not very alpha male at all, could be Batman. And his performances are from like 30+ years ago. I can’t believe we haven’t gotten a better or equally good Batman since then!!! There have been like 12 Batman movies in that time!!!

      • trashaddict says:

        Dee Kay, it’s a matter of time and taste, which we definitely share, he wasn’t as dark as the more recent Batman characterizations but I always liked his take the best.

  13. Coco says:

    I think I remember reading that it was down to two or three actors, and Pattinson just had a better jawline to go with the Batman mask. Whoever missed out on the role must be seething.

    • MM2 says:

      Or they’re happy they are not being asked to do 50 takes during a pandemic, after recently being exposed on set & catching Covid (many people say they feel fatigue for lengths after recovery), then being dragged & blamed in the media for the film’s stress level. Pattison is already being prepped to be the reason this movie fails & then his career will be damaged as well, so I doubt Affleck is kicking himself right now.

      • Coco says:

        I would have to know more about how Matt Reeves has worked on other projects. The article seems to imply he’s just being a dick to Pattinson in particular with the 50 takes because he resents him. It’s possible that he would have been much less of a taskmaster with a different actor.

      • Anname says:

        The article is click bait IMO. My guess is there are heightened tensions on set because there is lots of pressure on both of them, and COVID protocols make everything more challenging. Someone on set probably sold a tip to the Sun and made it into a dramatic story, rather than what is most likely a lead actor and a director hashing things out. If they respect each other, they can butt heads and not have it be a crisis. I know Rob has never created set problems in the past, and I never read anything about problems on Reeves’ Planet of the Apes films. They speak very highly of each other so there is mutual respect between them. In the end the work will prove out. The teaser certainly got a great reaction, so there are very high expectations.

  14. Milkweed says:

    I think he looks 🔥

  15. Sidewithkids says:

    Bad choice for Batman imo. He’s more fit for indies not something big in scale like this.

  16. Stef says:

    And just think, he could have had Nicholas Hoult

    • Coco says:

      I forgot he was another actor in contention! I think he’s such a talent and doesn’t have the recognition that he should.

    • Anname says:

      The post-casting news from Variety and THR said that Pattinson was always Reeves’ first choice, not only for his chops, but because he had the soul to play the two sides of the character. Justin Kroll, the Variety reporter who broke the story, said that Hoult was never really seriously in the running, and tweeted at the time, “ short list my *ss”. They both screen tested, which I think was directed from the studio. I like Hoult a lot, but I think Pattinson has more of that edgy darkness that Reeves wants.

  17. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Poor thing. Perhaps he and Daniel Craig can rub each other out over a pint of ale.

  18. TheOriginalMia says:

    Lost me at Hollywood hunk. Yeah…no. If Pattinson was not up for the demanding physical aspects of the role, then he shouldn’t have taken the job. That’s not to say it’s not ridiculous to shoot 50 retakes of one scene that’ll last less than 5 minutes. Just cementing my belief DCEU is cursed because of Marvel’s successes.

  19. FF says:

    Hope David Fincher never works with Pattinson.

  20. Guest says:

    Lol, some of these comments.

    Its nice to see the sun is taken as a legitimate source now.

  21. chimes@midnight says:

    Batman should just be a prestige TV show that gives us a few movie-length features every few years (think Sherlock), because it seems like there is always a damn Batman movie in production. Another cinematic ‘vision’. Another reboot or spin off. In the past 10 years we’ve had…..what? Three movies, and three live action TV shows set in the Batman-verse. I am done. I am Batmanned out. I am Batdone.

  22. Kristen says:

    I mean, he worked with Werner Herzog, who only had the very nicest things to say about him. And Herzog threatened to shoot Klaus Kinski dead if Kinski didn’t stop with his antics. If Pattinson were actually difficult to work with, I can’t imagine Herzog would’ve had trouble saying so.

  23. Lory says:

    Contract or not, 50 takes after Covid and facing possible side effects still from the illness would make any work situation difficult.
    I think people underestimate Pattinson regularly because of Twilight and his British self-deprecating style in interviews. He always seems super dedicated and directors have never had issues with him in the past. I was so impressed with him in The Lighthouse and The Devil all the Time. He certainly commits.

    I get that he behaved like an entitled twat after Twilight, and women in Hollywood (um everywhere) are held to a higher standard, but he was young and it was a beyond crazy time. I’d distance myself too if grown women were getting tattoos of my face on their bodies too.

    Not sure if he’s right for the part, but I’ll wait til I see the film to judge.

  24. Beech says:

    Back in my day, long, long ago, it was Adam West as Batman. It was very pop art, lightness and the cheapest of production values. I remember it well. * Looks around at the other Celebitches*. Okay, I’ll see myself out.

    • ravynrobyn says:

      @BEECH-come back, I remember that tv show too! It was fun.

    • trashaddict says:

      Hey Beech I’m glad our demographic is still around Celebitchy, I’d like to think it is diverse enough here to accept of couple of folks from back in the day.

  25. KinChicago says:

    Didn’t Pattinson diagnose positive for Covid? If so, even if recovered, he may be struggling with long haul exhaustion.
    I am not a Twilight fan or anything like that, but want to throw out there, this may not be the standard movie star diva, but true long haul effect of the virus.

  26. smee says:

    Enough with the Bat Man already……..

    Surely there are more compelling stories out there that come with less expectations and baggage.

  27. K says:

    Ben Affleck was a huge bummer as Bruce Wayne. I would love to be optimistic that a completely different actor like Pattinson (and director like Reeves) could bring something fresh and exciting to this world, but I expect to be disappointed again. Pattinson is not the guy I’d ever come to for “superhero” — if anything he looks like a sickly, creepy villain. I could see him as The Scarecrow, maybe. Compared to someone as dedicated as say, Christian Bale or most of the Marvel superhero actors, Pattinson just seems like he stumbled onto the wrong set, took the job on a dare or something. As for Reeves struggling to film a massive movie at the worst possible time… anyone might have similar difficulty. He doesn’t know exactly when or how a blockbuster like this will be released, and it might flop no matter what he does. So yeah, that sounds pretty anxiety-inducing for everyone involved, but especially for the director.