‘The Batman’ COVID-19 Shutdown: WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Boss Ann Sarnoff Hoping To Return To Production “Very Soon”

Today in the midst of The Batman shutting down production again, we caught up with WarnerMedia Studios & Networks Boss Ann Sarnoff to talk about an array of topics.

While Warner Bros. executives cannot speak about the health details of employees, i.e Batman star Robert Pattinson, who reports identified as being the person on set set diagnosed with COVID-19, we asked Sarnoff about the long-term implications about the pic shutting down, i.e. higher production cost, length of shutdown, and whether the feature will need to move from its current Oct. 1, 2021 release date.

“We’re still in the middle of investigating what is the situation. We’re pausing temporarily for now until we have more information, but we have all the protocols set up to do contact tracing and hopefully get back up into production very soon,” Sarnoff told Deadline.

The Batman shut down out of safety concerns when the pandemic started back in mid-March, as we first told you. Reeves had shot about a quarter of the movie by that point, enough to create a teaser trailer that wowed out of last August’s DC Fandome and clocked 20.8M YouTube views on Warner Bros. U.S. channel.

During the production downtime this past spring and summer, Batman filmmaker Matt Reeves told us that he was pouring through dailies, evaluating the tone of scenes, and the larger set pieces to come. He confimred at DC Fandome that the new movie takes place during Batman Year Two in the comic-book chronology when a burgeoning Dark Knight is working on a specific case in a Gotham were Penguin, Catwoman and Riddler have yet to come into their full potential.

Last month, Sarnoff was promoted to her new role as head of WarnerMedia’s Studios and Networks Group. In this role, she has oversight of all WarnerMedia’s content-focused teams, uniting the Warner Bros. Pictures Group, HBO and HBOMax, the Warner Bros. Television Group, DC, kids/young adults/classics (Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TCM, Cartoon Network Studios, WB Animation), TBS, TNT, TruTV, Wizarding World, consumer products and gaming.

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