The Batman Star Describes What It’s Like To Film The Movie During The Pandemic

Robert Pattinson in The Batman

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There are a ton of highly anticipated DC projects coming down the line, set both within and outside of the greater DC Extended Universe. One of the latter projects is Matt Reeves' The Batman, which will introduce a less experienced version of the hero played by Robert Pattinson. The majority of the upcoming blockbuster's footage was filmed in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, and actress Jayme Lawson recently weighed in on what that experience was like.

The Batman will feature a new cast of actors who will populate Gotham City and keep Robert Pattinson's title character busy during its mysterious runtime. Jayme Lawson is set to play Gotham grassroots politician Bella Reál, who will likely attempt to shake up the city's internal systems. Filming for Matt Reeves' highly anticipated DC flick has been underway with new health protocols, and Lawson recently described what that was like, saying:

What’s interesting is we didn’t get much done before Covid hit. And so, from when I was there, the feeling on that set was far from sterile, in my experience. So it’s not going to be the same kind of intimacy that you get on Farewell Amor. But just by nature of the story, what the storyline requires and the nature in which everything is conducted, there was still a sense of familiarity on that set, whether you knew people for years or were just showing up. Now, during Covid, it’s just hard to have that kind of intimacy on a set right now and you can feel everybody wanting to. When I went back out in October and I saw the crew, I almost cried because I hadn’t seen these faces in so long. Everybody wants to hug and touch and talk, but we’re on a tight schedule and we can’t because of protocols. But the feeling is still there and the desire is still there.

It looks like filming a movie in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a unique experience. Because while film sets are usually a place where cast/crew get close (both emotionally and physically), there needs to be some space on The Batman. This will help keep those working on the long awaited movie safe, even if it's a strange process for the collaborators who are making Matt Reeves' vision into a reality.

As Jayme Lawson explained to THR, the new health protocols for The Batman might have been foreign to the cast and crew, but that didn't diminish the energy on set. Folks were eager to give back into Gotham City after breaking for months, so the same moviemaking spirit is still very much alive. It should be interesting to see how these changes to the set affect the final product, and if new practices like social distancing read as such on the big screen.

After The Batman hits theaters, Matt Reeves will bring a prequel series to HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up (opens in new tab) for the streaming service.

As a reminder, you can re-watch the first teaser for The Batman below. While Jayme Lawson is noticeably absent, the footage that was cut together was from the brief pre-COVID filming period. Way more work on the solo flick has been done since then, including for Lawson herself. Check it out below.

Clearly The Batman will address how corruption and power in Gotham City work. This was a subject broached with Todd Phillips' Joker, although the movie by Matt Reeves appears to be much more theatrical. Still, the vision is refreshingly pulled back, with realistic costumes and a brutal version of The Dark Knight.

Later in her same interview, Jayme Lawson was asked if she felt safe returning to the set of The Batman in the midst of a global pandemic. The 19 year-old actress peeled back the curtain on what it was like to wait at home for the set to finally reopen across the pond. As she put it,

100 percent. I remember talking with [producer] Dylan Clark over the summer; I’d ask him questions and he’d keep me up to date with the protocols. So they’ve been very forthcoming and open about making sure that we feel safe and have whatever we need, at any moment. So I feel absolutely safe being on set for that production.

Well, that's relief. So much is unknown right now as a result of COVID-19, it seems the cast and crew of The Batman felt that they were taken care of on the movie's set. Plenty of work has resumed on the mysterious movie, with set photos revealing new glimpses at actors like Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz. And while Jayme Lawson's Bella Reál isn't as iconic as Catwoman or Penguin, it should be interesting to see how she factors into the movie's mysterious contents.

The Batman is currently expected to hit theaters on March 4th 2022. In the meantime, check out our 2021release list to plan your trips to the movies in the New Year.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.