Reed Morano: Production break on 'The Rhythm Section' was a 'blessing in disguise' for Blake Lively thriller

Tom Butler
Senior Editor
Blake Lively spotted on location in New York City filming The Rhythm Section directed by Reed Morano, in January 2018. (Splash)

An unfortunate incident that led to ‘temporary suspension’ on the production of Blake Lively’s new spy thriller The Rhythm Section may end up having a positive outcome. The film’s director Reed Morano told Yahoo, “we were able to make the movie better in every way” due to the hiatus.

Lively injured her hand in December 2017 while shooting a stunt sequence for the new action film from the producers of the James Bond films. The 31-year-old actor is turning action hero for the new film, which is an adaptation of Mark Burnell’s book of the same name, but the accident meant she needed to twice undergo surgery.

Paramount and producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson released a statement at the time confirming “filming has been temporarily suspended on The Rhythm Section“, adding that “production will resume as soon as possible”.

Morano, talking to Yahoo while promoting her new film I Think We’re Alone Now, paid tribute to her lead actor saying the accident had cast a small cloud over the production – which recommenced in May 2018 with Sterling K Brown added to the cast – but a cloud with a silver lining.

“It was definitely an inconvenience at the time,” Morano said about Lively’s injury, “and we were all like ‘ah’, but actually it was a blessing in disguise. I think everybody knew.”

Reed Morano in New York for a location shoot on The Rhythm Section (Splash)

The filmmaker, who also directed the first three episodes of Channel 4’s hit drama The Handmaid’s Tale, says she used the hiatus to regroup and tweak some big action set pieces. The film follows Lively’s character, who assumes three different identities to uncover the truth behind a plane crash that killed her family.

“We had a really big stunt coming up, that we were getting ready to shoot, and the crew needed more time to prepare.”

“It was a really busy shoot for Blake, so it was nice because it gave her some down time. She’s a really dedicated mother – I’m a mom too – but, it gave us time to not rush into the next day. We had some really exciting stunt pieces planned, and we were just able to do those and execute them perfectly because we had that extra time.”

“We were able to make the movie better in every way. So it was actually a really good thing.”

Although the James Bond franchise has yet to hire a female director, Eon working with Morano on The Rhythm Section – a big budget action film – is a huge leap forward for the torch-bearers of the 007 flame.

Morano, who is also an acclaimed cinematographer, praised her producers on the film for the way they handled the misfortune that befell Lively and halted production on the shoot.

“When you do a movie and there’s a certain amount of stunts, there’s always something that happens, usually it’s something small, and this was something small. But because she was our quarterback – so to speak – We really had to take care and make sure that she was really doing good before Barbara, Michael, and I… we wanted her to completely feel solid before going back into everything else, and Blake did incredibly, so she would always feel amazing about it.”

May 2018: Blake Lively on the set of The Rhythm Section in Patrick’s Street during her last day of filming in Dublin, Ireland. She wore a bandage on her hand that she injured. (Splash)

“It’s really big and it was cool, because we made an action movie and it’s – probably knowing what you know about any of my other work – it isn’t just going to be that. It was always going to have a little bit of something else, but we had a blast. It was so much fun, and now we’re just finalising everything, and locking the picture, and I’m really, really excited for people to see it.”

Paramount is due to release The Rhythm Section in February, 2019.

I Think We’re Alone Now is available to download now.

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