Robert Pattinson tested positive for Covid-19 this week, forcing production of ‘The Batman’ to temporarily shut down as the cast and crew all quarantine themselves. According to insider sources, at first production on the film continued without Pattinson but then shortly after shut down for safety reasons.
Crew members working at Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden, UK, are continuing to work on construction for sets and props, but every individual who was working in close contact with Pattinson have since isolated themselves. Healthcare professionals are currently working on contact tracing the virus on the set to ensure that everyone who should be home, is doing so.
Production is expected to resume after the two-week quarantine period ends and Pattinson recovers. Luckily they don’t need him for every single scene, so the focus will shift to work on shooting every other scene until he can return to set. Warner Bros. did not confirm or deny that Pattinson had tested positive, however, media speculation based on initial press releases make it seem pretty clear that it was him. It’s currently unclear how severe the virus is impacting Pattinson or if he’s been asymptomatic.
The UK film industry is confident in their ability to maintain proper health and safety procedures for everyone working on set. Adrian Wooton, the chief executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, recently spoke with the media about their overall protocols, and claimed that they were implementing a multitude of measures, “including stringent testing regimes, which is why any case of coronavirus can be rapidly identified and appropriate self-isolating procedures implemented.”
“We’re confident that with all measures in place, any production will resume filming as soon as it’s safe to do so. We also believe this will not impact production overall continuing in U.K., precisely because we have such robust health and safety measures operating.”
UK crew members have access to free training services that give proper advice on staying safe and following all procedures put into place on set. 20,000 individuals have already used these services and it’s greatly helped aid the prevention of Covid-19 cases spreading. The services were provided by ScreenSkills, a media company, and their CEO, Seetha Kumar, recently spoke with the British media about the success they’ve seen so far.
“We collaborated with industry and health and safety experts to develop free online coronavirus basic awareness on production training to support the available guidance.”
Even more procedures are going to be implemented in the coming weeks as more members return to work after self-quarantining. ScreenSkills is running “safe return to set seminars” that will call upon individuals who have already had to quarantine and return to work to give advice on the best ways to protect yourself and others around you from potential infection.
The UK government also set up a $647 million film and TV insurance fund for all productions where at least 50% of the budget is spent in the UK. However, ‘The Batman’ does not fall into that category. Eligible productions are granted compensation for costs brought on due to coronavirus delays.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.