Reynolds, who starred in the original version of the film and has a featured role in the remake, was on the red carpet at Manhattan's Chelsea West Cinema when he was approached by the newsman, whose name hasn't been released.
Reynolds was asked to tell a bit about the movie and his role in it.
"You don't know anything about the movie? Well then what…(are) you asking me for?"
"Well," responded the producer, "I want to get your point of view."
"Have you seen the original?" Reynolds inquired.
"I haven't," replied the producer.
At that point, Reynolds
"What…kinda guy are you?" asked Reynolds. "The guy has never seen the… he asked me to tell him about the picture, he's standing here in a shirt that needs ironing, the man works for CBS, I'm embarrassed. I like the guy, he's a nice guy, he's a tough guy, he wants to hit me now, he can't, 'cause he's under contract. But we'll meet later if you want."
CBS News says, "We're looking into what happened and we have no further comment at this time."
Reynolds' publicist, Jeff Lane, says, "Burt remembers the incident very well, but has a very different account. He playfully tapped him on the cheek, as if to say, 'Well, that's not very nice,' not to have seen the movie.
"He was kidding. There was no anger and no problems between him and the young guy. They had a playful, kidding interview. Then he walked on and did his next interview. The guy next to him was watching the whole thing and smiling and laughing.
"He certainly wasn't angry with the young man. He said it was a playful tap that you would do to someone who is young, who is naughty. It was as if to say, 'How can you not have seen the two films and you're here?' He certainly wasn't upset or angry. It was a playful tap."
When the premiere was over, Adam Sandler and other stars of the new version walked out the front door of the theater but, according to witnesses, there was no sign of Reynolds.
Observers are wondering if the publicity over the slap will help or hurt the film at the box office.
CBS Newspath is the affiliate feed service of CBS News.