The actor Robert Pattinson has tested positive for Covid-19, according to US media reports, halting production of the film The Batman just days after it resumed following lockdown.
A spokesperson for Warner Bros, the Hollywood studio behind the film, said: “A member of The Batman production has tested positive for Covid-19, and is isolating in accordance with established protocols. Filming is temporarily paused.”
The studio declined to name the individual affected, but Vanity Fair and the Hollywood Reporter cited unnamed sources as saying the person who tested positive was Pattinson, the film’s star. The 34-year-old will self-isolate for two weeks before filming resumes.
The film’s production, which is taking place in the UK, in Hertfordshire, was suspended in March due to the pandemic and national lockdown. Filming only restarted three days ago.
The government gave the go-ahead in May for film production to restart under new guidelines, drawn up by the British Film Commission and the British Film Institute, detailing rules on physical distancing, safety training and temperature tests.
The Batman was one of the first major productions to resume in the UK. The franchise reboot, slated for a 2021 release, has an ensemble cast including Zoë Kravitz, Paul Dano and Colin Farrell. It is directed by Matt Reeves, whose previous works include Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Pattinson, best known for his role in the Twilight franchise, took on the superhero role after Ben Affleck dropped out last year.
The Batman was originally supposed to reach cinemas in June next year but was pushed back to October because of the delays.
The film was originally supposed to release on June 21, 2021 but because of the coronavirus pandemic affecting production, The Batman got a new release date. The film is now slated to release October 1, 2021 in cinemas worldwide.
Before Robert Pattinson, the Batman cape has been worn by actors such as Christian Bale, George Clooney, Michael Keaton, Ben Affleck, Adam West and Val Kilmer.
Robert Pattinson, who stepped into the film industry with Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, became a household name after featuring as the teenage vampire Edward Cullen in the Twilight saga. He has also starred in High Life, Lighthouse, Waiting For The Barbarians and The King. He recently starred in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.
Meanwhile, other big stars who tested positive for coronavirus include Dwayne Johnson and his family, Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, Idris Elba and wife Sabrina, Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kristofer Hivju, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel Matthews and Daniel Dae Kim.
Hollywood has been upended by the coronavirus, which has forced studios to find new ways to make films and TV shows. After months on hiatus, casts and crews on shows and films have recently returned to work with new rules and guidelines, The Washington Post’s Steven Zeitchik reported last month. Different parts of production have been siphoned into “pods,” and sets have “zones” that dictate where and who can be in certain areas. There are also covid-19 officers who monitor the health of the cast and crew.