Oakes Fegley says his new movie with Robert De Niro was left in ‘disarray’ thanks to constant production changes

  • Oakes Fegley said that his new family comedy starring Robert De Niro had originally been left in "disarray' thanks to constant changes to the film's production. 
  • Fegley, who is now 16-year-old, said that he was "maybe 12 or 13" when he first landed the role, but a series of production changes and push-backs meant that filming didn't start for many years. 
  • He added: "We were originally going to film in Canada. In Toronto. And then we ended up filming in Atlanta, Georgia. So, that obviously changed as well and threw a lot of different things into disarray."   
  • The film was originally set to be released in 2018 by Harvey Weinstein's production company, but after the fall of the now-disgraced film producer, the film fell into limbo. 
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Earlier this month, Robert De Niro's new family comedy "The War With Grandpa" topped the box office, overtaking Christopher Nolan's "Tenet."

But one of the movie's stars, Oakes Fegley, said that the family comedy had initially fallen into "disarray" thanks to constant changes to the movie's production.

Fegley, who is now 16 years old, said that he was "maybe 12 or 13" when he first auditioned and landed the role as De Niro's grandson in the movie, but a series of production changes and push-backs meant that filming didn't take place for many years.

"We ended up not filming for a while and it went on hiatus for a little while because I think funding switched around, so it was a long process starting up," he told Insider. "We were originally going to film in Canada; in Toronto, and then we ended up filming in Atlanta, Georgia. So, that obviously changed as well and threw a lot of different things into disarray."

He added: "It was definitely a different process because of the difficulty in how it started and how we were able to start production and where we were filming and all of that. I think some cast changed on the way, just overall things changed. I'm just happy we were able to make it and it came out because it's been a long while waiting for this one."

Uma Thurman alongside Fegley and Rob Riggle in "The War with Grandpa."
Ben Rothstein

The film, which also stars Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, and Jane Seymour, was originally set to be released in 2018 by The Weinstein Company. But after the now-disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein was arrested and later found guilty of a felony sex crime and rape, the film was left in limbo alongside other productions like "The Upside" and "The Current War."

Director and animator Tim Hill who is best known for his work on the "Garfield" movies directed the family comedy, which follows Ed (Robert De Niro), a recently widowed grandfather who moves in with his daughter Sally (Uma Thurman) and her family forcing his young grandson Peter (Oakes Fegley) to give up his bedroom.

But Peter decides to fight back and cooks up a plan to force his grandfather out.

Fegley and De Niro fight it out in "The War with Grandpa."
Ben Rothstein

Fegley, whose credits include an interesting set of projects including 2019's "The Goldfinch" and "Pete's Dragon" said that it was "immediately interesting and legendary" to be able to work with Robert De Niro.

"To even just be a part of something that he's a part of is not only exciting but very humbling," he said. "I'm very grateful to have had the pleasure of working with him."

The teenager added that it's been interesting for him to look back on the film and see his performance now that he has grown-up.

"It's just interesting because I've grown up and I'm looking back on a time when I'm a lot younger," he said. "It's very interesting to have people finally seeing that now that I've grown up a little bit and done some different films and different things in the meantime.

"It was a different time and I was in a different position and age in general. But I would totally do another film like this. Obviously, it would probably look different now that I'm sixteen. It obviously would have to be a different story but I would definitely do another film like this."

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