Christian Bale feared a scene in his new movie would be ruined by a horse pooping.

The actor - known for his seriousness on set and hot temper - gathered with director Terrence Malick and co-stars Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett and Ryan Gosling to review scenes from the as-yet-untitled new film, only to find a horse in the foreground relieving itself during a particularly tense moment.

A source told National Enquirer magazine: ''And as if that wasn't enough, another horse got the urge a moment later and plop!''

Once the scene had played, the actors began to see the funny side and all their fears of having to re-shoot it were quickly quelled by one of the editors, who assured the faeces could be edited out.

Christian and his cast mates are not the only ones to have fallen foul of animals answering calls of nature while trying to film. In 2011 Robert Pattinson claimed a pachyderm farted on his co-star, Reese Witherspoon, while filming 'Water for Elephants'.

He said: ''Reese ended up under the elephant, who then went back on its hind legs and let out the most incredible fart directly in Reese's face for a good 45 seconds. It shows Reese's complete commitment to do the job because she just stood there and took it. And the elephant's got a big a**e!''