CelebritiesThere is serious conflict between Jake Gyllenhaal (43) and the French director Thomas Bidegain (55). The Frenchman says Gyllenhaal’s bizarre behavior on the set of his film ‘Suddenly’ persuaded him to abruptly stop production two years ago. The cast had only started filming in Iceland four days before the decision. ‘Suddenly’ was released last year, but with a completely new cast.
In an interview with the website Technikart, Bidegain reveals that Gyllenhaal, among other things, read the script with an exaggerated French accent and forced employees to sleep in their cars as a Covid precaution. Moreover, the crew was amazed when he suddenly stood up in his underwear to jump into the icy ocean. “When I see the sea, I have to go swimming,” he is said to have said.
In addition, there were some “creative differences” between the two. The director interpreted the film’s overarching theme as: “This is the end of the world, and maybe love can save us.” Gyllenhaal, on the other hand, thought it should be about “love of nature”. According to Bidegain, a “unique” pitch from Gyllenhaal followed. He allegedly showed the director a video of activist Greta Thunberg and burst into tears. The actor also reportedly wanted to change elements of his character. He is said to have suggested a scene where his character catches a fish to show how good he was at survival techniques.
‘Suddenly’, the film adaptation of the French novel ‘Soudan Seuls’ by Isabelle Autissier, tells the story of a couple stranded on an island. It would be an English-language film, starring Gyllenhaal alongside ‘The Crown’ actress Vanessa Kirby. The American actor was also one of the producers of the project.
No green light
Ultimately, ‘Suddenly’ was released in 2023, but in French and with a new cast. However, representatives of Gyllenhaal and the French film studio Studiocanal claim that the new approach had nothing to do with the actor’s behavior. The English-language version had never been officially greenlit, they claim in an official statement to the entertainment site ‘AV Club’.
“Creative differences are common in film development, as unfortunate as that is. In this case, there were issues that simply could not be resolved, despite significant efforts on both sides,” a Studiocanal spokesperson said. “At Studiocanal we value all our connections and are delighted that Thomas Bidegain has been able to realize his vision for the French version of ‘Suddenly’. We remain committed to our collaboration with both Thomas Bidegain and Jake Gyllenhaal, with whom we have always had a strong creative relationship.”
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