Robert Pattinson’s latest film has had an extraordinary production history. Its initial filming was halted by Pattinson himself after he suffered serious injuries during filming. The actor then spent a year in recovery, which gave him the chance to read voraciously and reflect on his life and works. Having emerged from his year-long retreat a changed man, Pattinson started shooting the film in early 2018 and has recently finished its post-production phase. We take a look at the fascinating production history of one of the most anticipated upcoming films.
A Film With An Incredible Past
It all began in 2007 when director Michael Brandt was hired to helm Furry Gangsters, an adult-themed adaptation of Ludo, a popular French manga. The film’s first scene was shot at the legendary Pinewood Studios in London and it was there that Brandt would meet the man who would become his frequent collaborator and on-set friend, producer Gil Tuttle. “To this day, it’s the most exciting set I’ve ever been on,” Tuttle reminisced in a recent interview with THR. “I didn’t think anybody worked that hard on a set.”
The two worked together on several other projects before they made their first short film, The Boy, in 2011. Set in the 1950s, it starred Pattinson as Eric Borsato, a teen who sets out to change the world and fix “the big problems” of the time, including racism and sexual repression. Borsato is mentored by a wizened old man named Tony who befriends and teaches him how to save the world. The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews upon its premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and went on to win the festival’s grand jury prize, the U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award, and the festival’s Audience Award
Tuttle and Brandt would go on to make a number of further teen dramas, including the highly acclaimed The Rover, in which Pattinson starred as a conflicted teen who grows up in the wilderness after being orphaned. The film’s haunting climax was shot in one take so that Tuttle could get the full effect of it on film. “We were just trying to keep up with his momentum,” Tuttle said of his young collaborator. “It was an incredible challenge.”
The acclaim for The Rover led to the two becoming known in the industry for their “teen vampire” films, a trend which has seen a resurgence in interest since the release of the highly anticipated Twilight series in 2012. This year alone, Tuttle and Brandt have made two more teen vampire flicks, both of which have premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Night School.
Pattinson’s Injury And Production Halts
While Tuttle and Brandt were having a ball making teen vampire movies, Pattinson was busy having an existential crisis. The actor had just turned 21 and, feeling restless and unsatisfied with life in London, he decided to take a sabbatical from acting and went back to his hometown of Surrey in order to heal. “I hurt my leg pretty badly on the first day of shooting [for Night School],” he recalled. “I had only done a bit of running in the past, so I was really worried that it would be a long recovery.”
Pattinson wrapped filming on Night School in November 2017 and, having recovered from his injuries, started work on a new film called Pattinson, with production starting in May 2018. In January 2018, Brandt, Tuttle, and the rest of the production crew were in Morocco filming when they found out that filming had been halted after Pattinson injured his back during a fight scene with co-star Zoe Kazan. “He went through a complete physical transformation in the fight scene,” Tuttle said of the scene’s fight choreographer. “It was all back to an intimate conversation, and he did a wonderful job with it. It was just a beautiful scene. But it was halted after that day. He couldn’t do any more fighting. And we were only half-way through. It was devastating.”
While the crew scrambled to figure out how to continue filming, Tuttle took the time to read as much as he could about the actor’s life and works. He then decided to adapt Tuttle’s original script for a solo performance from Pattinson. Titled In Recovery, it tells the story of a man who returns from a two-year hiatus to find his world turned upside down. “It’s obviously taken its toll on me,” said the actor of the past year’s events. “I feel like I’ve gained a whole other dimension in life.”
Back To The Future
In October 2018, Brandt and Tuttle teamed up with Jennifer Love Hewitt to resurrect their collaboration from 2007 by directing The Nest, a thriller about a family that is terrorized by an unseen presence in their home. The film, which also stars Will Patton, is set for a June 2019 release.
In other upcoming projects, Tuttle is attached to direct Dark Phoenix, the upcoming 20th Century Fox adaptation of Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s 1997 film. The studio has yet to set a release date for the film, which stars Academy Award winner Charlize Theron and follows the adventures of a succubus named Dark Phoenix as she sets out to destroy mankind.
An Intense Collaboration
Since returning from his injury, Robert Pattinson has put into practice everything he’s learned. The result has been something altogether new and special. “He’s become almost like a Jedi,” said Tuttle of his young collaborator. “He’s taken on this whole new dimension in his life. He’s so much stronger than I ever thought he could be. He’s really changed the way I look at acting. I’ve been to a lot of film sets where he’s directed and it’s just been such an intense collaboration. We’re constantly going at it, trying to come up with ideas.”
Tuttle is looking forward to continuing their collaboration and has already started working on new material with Pattinson. “I’ve always loved a good adventure and now that I’m working with him, I get to be a part of some great stories,” he said. “It’s really been an honor to be a part of this experience.”
And The Winner Is…
All things considered, it’s fair to say that 2017 was a banner year for Robert Pattinson. Not only did he star in four major films, he also released two major album songs: “Slowly, Slowly” and “Homesick”. He also made a huge impact online with his various web appearances. But who got the final say on the matter? That would be you, the fans. In December 2017, we were treated to the long-awaited premiere of The Rover, the actor’s first film in three years. Since then, he’s continued to impress with two more Sundance Film Festival premieres this year alone, with 2019 looking to continue the trend.
As for the next phase of Robert Pattinson’s career, who knows what paths await. He will continue to make appearances in film and television, and we can only hope that he’ll choose projects that allow him to showcase his unique talents. Until next time, friends.