Jake Gyllenhaal Accused Of Ruining $26 Million Indie Film With Shocking Behavior, Including Demands Set Builders Sleep In Their Cars And Requests For Major Script Rewrites

In 2020, during the early days of the pandemic, actor Jake Gyllenhaal joined the cast of a survival thriller from French filmmaker Thomas Bidegain. But the $26 million movie never began filming, partially due to Gyllenhaal’s erratic behavior on set, according to Bidegain himself.

In a new interview with French outlet Technikart, the filmmaker detailed the few days he spent on set with Gyllenhaal. According to the report, Gyllenhaal was “extremely involved” in the project once he signed on, but his allegedly demanding requests and rather shocking behavior led the filmmaker to shut the project down before it began filming.

Bidegain claimed that they held multiple Zoom sessions with Gyllenhaal to work through the script, with the actor becoming so involved he was made a co-producer on the project. We soon arrive at a version that satisfies everyone and Jake brings Vanessa Kirby, with whom he filmed in Everest,” Bidegain recalled. By July 2021, he met with Gyllenhaal and Kirby in Iceland, where they were gearing up to start filming. That was where the trouble really began, Bidegain alleged.

Gyllenhaal soon began demanding more changes be made to the script written by Bidegain and Valentine Monteil. The actor reportedly requested that the film be changed from a love story to something more focused on the nature and climate. He also asked to change his character’s backstory so he could be a former GI.

Jake Gyllenhaal will star in new 'Road House.'
Photo: Getty Images

Bidegain also recalled multiple alleged incidents of shocking behavior from the actor, including a “humiliating” moment where Kirby and Gyllenhaal read their lines in a Pepe Le Pew accent. In another incident, Gyllenhaal is accused of stripping down to his underwear and swimming in the Atlantic Ocean while traveling Iceland with the crew.

Gyllenhaal was also allegedly so “terrified of Covid” that he demanded set builders working on the film sleep in their cars and not in a hotel.

“He screams, insists that he doesn’t want a set, demands to see the building plans, calls everyone incompetent and finally declares that if it’s like that, he’ll leave the project,” Technikart reported. After discussing the matter with producer Alain Attal, Bidegain opted to shut down the project.

As AV Club reports, representatives for Gyllenhaal and StudioCanal denied Technikart‘s report and say the film had never been greenlit. Decider has reached out to Gyllenhaal’s rep, but did not hear back by time of publication.

A statement from Studiocanal said, “Creative differences are very normal, if unfortunate, regularities in film development. In this case, there were concerns which simply could not be overcome despite great efforts on both sides. We greatly value all our relationships at STUDIOCANAL and are happy that Thomas Bidegain was able to fulfill his vision on the French language version of SUDDENLY.”

After they parted ways, Bidegain said Kirby later expressed interest in buying the script so she could pursue it with Gyllenhaal on their own. But Attal refused. Instead, Bidegain rewrote the script in French and cast Mélanie Thierry and Gilles Lellouche as the leads.

The film premiered in France last month.


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