Jake Gyllenhaal’s Indie Film Fell Apart After Alleged ‘Erratic’ Behavior on Set


  • Gyllenhaal’s alleged behavior on set caused the indie film Suddenly to fall apart, according to director Thomas Bidegain.
  • The film project changed because Gyllenhaal and Vanessa Kirby had different visions for the film during script readings in Iceland.
  • Bidegain faced challenges working with an actor-producer who didn’t share the same vision as the director, highlighting differences between French and American filmmaking.

Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t really known for displaying erratic behavior on set, but according to director Thomas Bidegain, who was in the middle of working with the actor on the indie film Suddenly, the project all fell apart because of that very reason.

During a recent interview with Technikart, via CBR, filmmaker Bidegain appeared to reveal that his film Soudain Seuls, which was recently released, was supposed to star Gyllenhaal and Vanessa Kirby, who previously worked together in 2015’s Everest. The project was to feature the pair as a couple who end up stranded on an island and have to fight for survival. The magazine attempted to suggest that the film ended up making some big changes due to the behavior of Gyllenhaal, but speaking to Variety, Bidegain disputed the previous account of the situation and clarified the reason the movie changed. He said:

“People don’t understand how a film is made. We were not shooting, and we were not in pre-production. The tentative date of the shoot was eight weeks away. This project came together during the pandemic, so we had only discussed via Zoom. We would talk every week, but we had not met to talk about the film. So I came up with the idea of setting up that week in Iceland to read the script together, with Jake and Vanessa. I thought it would be good to meet there, since it was where we were thinking of shooting the movie, and it’s a beautiful place.

I’d send the updated script every week, and had a nice back-and-forth with [Pulitzer Prize-winning author] David Lindsay-Abaire, who was working with Jake on the development. We had just done a new version of the script that incorporated the latest changes, and I did a lot of Zooms with Jake and Vanessa, so I thought the three of us were on the same page. So when we met in Iceland, I assumed that we would just put the finishing touches on it. But when we started reading the script in the same room, we realized that we didn’t have at all the same vision of what the film was meant to be. They wanted more and more changes. It’s normal when there are changes to the script before shooting, but this was different. We each had our own idea of what the message of the film was.

I tried to smooth things over once, twice — and then I just realized it wasn’t going to work out, so it had to stop. [Gyllenhaal decided] it shouldn’t be a film about love, but a film about love of nature… [Kirby] was interested by the script. She has a production company. I said ‘no.’ It’s a very strange experience when you work with an actor-producer who doesn’t have the same vision than the director — in France, the director is the one in charge of the telling the story, and he’s in charge of the script, the set design, etc. We have very different ways to make films in France and in the U.S.”

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Reported Behavior Really Made No Sense

There is no real rhyme or reason for Gyllenhaal’s alleged behavior, although some suggested he was working double time to get off of a project that he thought would be something else when he signed on for it. He wouldn’t be the first actor to have creative differences with a director following getting attached to a film, so this could have been the case of what happened, but it seems that now it is doubtful that there were any issues with Gyllenhaal at all. Either way, the actor hasn’t been hunting for work since Suddenly fell apart, appearing in the 2021 Netflix thriller The Guilty, 2022’s Ambulance, and 2023’s The Covenant.

Jake Gyllenhaal will next be seen in the remake of Road House, hitting Prime Video on March 21.

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