The Batman’s Jeffrey Wright Recalls Intense Safety Protocols For Filming Mid-Pandemic

Jeffrey Wright in The Batman teaser

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The entertainment industry faced a series of unprecedented challenges as a result of the ongoing pandemic. A number of blockbusters were in the midst of filming when sets closed, including Matt Reeves’ The Batman. Jeffrey Wright will debut as James Gordon in the highly anticipated blockbuster, and recently recalled the intense safety protocols for filming mid-pandemic.

The Batman had a long shoot, largely due to a number of shutdowns over COVID-19 concerns. Filming for Robert Pattinson’s upcoming blockbuster had just begun when lockdowns around the world started being instituted. Jeffrey Wright recently spoke to what it was like when so much was unknown on the set of The Batman, saying:

I was having conversations with him where I was like, ‘Hey, man, what exactly are we going to be doing here going forward?’ At that time, there were no travel restrictions from the UK, but the numbers were rising. I called my agent and said, ‘We have to get out of here. We may be isolated here. There’s no way in hell we’re going to be shooting. It’s about to go down.’

It’s been over a year since the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and changed our day-to-day life. But while the public is prepared now, there were countless questions at the start. And for actors like Jeffrey Wright, that includes worrying about where he might be locked down.

Jeffrey Wright’s comments about his unique time working on The Batman are from a conversation he had with IndieWire about his upcoming debut as Gotham City’s own James Gordon. While fans can’t wait to see Wright take on Batman iconography, the process of filming came with a unique set of challenges.

Following The Batman, Matt Reeves will bring a prequel series to HBO Max. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.

Later in that same interview, Jeffrey Wright went on to explain what it was like once The Batman resumed filming. While there were some reports that Robert Pattinson himself contracted COVID in the midst of filming, Wright maintains that the set was an extremely safe place. As the Westworld actor put it,

We went back to testing three times a week, then it became three times a week and N95 masks required at all times except when we were filming. There were breaks and ventilation requirements and separate spaces for hair and makeup. We took it very seriously and were respectful. We got it done safely.

It might have taken a ton of COVID tests and a few different filming locations, but The Batman managed to wrap principal photography in March of 2021. This gives Matt Reeves and company a full year to edit the project and do whatever reshoots and visual effects it’ll take to bring Gotham City to life. As a reminder, check out the first teaser below,

Matt Reeves clearly has a unique vision for The Batman, including an ultra realistic version of Gotham City. Robert Pattinson’s version of the title character will be new to crime fighting, and will face the rise of three villains: Penguin (Colin Farrell), Riddler (Paul Dano), and Catwoman (Zoë Kravitz). Smart money says it’ll also feature the inception of Batman’s partnership with James Gordon.

We’ll just have to wait and see if The Batman gets future sequels, allowing Jeffrey Wright to have a long run as Gordon. It’ll be fun to see what Wright brings to the table, and how it stands apart from previous versions like Gary Oldman. Good thing there’s such a capable actor attached.

The Batman is set to arrive in theaters on March 4th. In the meantime, check out the 2021 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience

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.