Chris Clow is a comic book expert, retailer and contributor to Batman-On-Film.com andModernMythMedia.com. When not geeking out, he is a Political Science major at Western Washington University. You can find his Dark Knight Rises Countdown column here at Movies.com every other Thursday, and his comic book reviews at BOF for various monthly titles. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisClow.
At the start of the last column, I relayed my interest in the way things had amped up from early to late July in regards to Dark Knight Rises news. I should just shut my mouth in that regard, because now that shooting has begun in earnest in public areas it’s only a matter of time before things get out in a more instantaneous fashion. For those looking for blatant spoilers that have found their way online, this article probably isn’t for you.
While people have posted tweets, images, and even video from events and/or locations having to do with the film, I will not give out any details that will spoil your experience next year. If there are any details that may fall into the spoiler category, I’ll make sure to give you fair warning. This is the Batman-On-Film modus operandi, and I’m happy to continue it here.
Now, onto the news!
TDKR Makes It Snow In Pittsburgh
Following up on a previous report, BOF’s Jett reported back on July 27th that there would indeed be snow on the ground in Pittsburgh for The Dark Knight Rises. Citing an article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the local reporter received confirmation of the use of fake snow on the ground by Dawn Keezer, the director of the Pittsburgh Film Office. I’m guessing that this confirms the earlier report that the film will take place in winter, but in the end you never really know until they release a full trailer.
The report from the Post-Gazette also details some other aspects of these shoots, including the use of effects such as, “gunfire, sparks, squib hits, smoke, debris, air mortars and controlled pyrotechnic blasts.” Sounds like the streets of Gotham will be seeing quite a bit of mayhem next summer. I imagine those that are able to see the “snow” on the ground will be a little bewildered, as local weather reports over the last couple of weeks have shown temperatures in the 80’s with high levels of humidity. Not exactly snow-worthy weather!
The Production Arrives in the Steel City
The production of the film officially arrived in Pittsburgh back on the 28th of July, and featured a press conference with Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Emma Thomas, and other team members, as well as Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett. A production as large as The Dark Knight Rises will undoubtedly mean a large of influx of cash for both the city and state, as well as the employment of a lot of local citizens and agencies for various purposes.
There’s an interesting article over at CBS Pittsburgh from the 28th of July that details just what kinds of businesses will be used by the production, how many people could potentially be hired, and what that means for the local economy. Given the current economic climate, this can only mean good fortunes for the Steel City. Looks like Batman really has saved the day, in a way.
Images and Video Flood the Internet
Because the film is shooting out in the open in a major American city, unofficial images were bound to show up sooner rather than later. Especially given the prevalence of instant-sharing on sites like Twitter, a few things were bound to get out. If you’re curious what a “Gothamized” Pittsburgh looks like on the ground, these spoiler-free photos should be fun to see: Jett had a reader send in photos of a fleet of Gotham Police cars as well as images of Gotham Cable News vans parked on a street.
Beyond these, though, other more plot-laden images (and even video) have managed to hit the web from some larger scale shoots at an educational institution in the city. While some of the images that were released from the Getty Images outlet have been labeled as somewhat “official” by Warner Bros., I’m going to refrain from posting them here just because they appear to show an important moment in the film. If you’re so inclined, you should be able to find them all over the place.
Hardy Talks (A Little) About Bane
Last week on the 2nd of of August, BOF ran a partial transcript from TotalFilm.com where Tom Hardy gave a few details about Bane. Nothing earth-shattering, but if you like seeing what Hardy has to say about playing the villain of what’s sure to be next summer’s hottest movie, then check it out!
Large Scene Shot in Heinz Field, Beware!
Just a heads-up for fans wanting to steer clear of potentially spoiler-ish news from the film. It seems that this last weekend a rather large scene was shot in Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field, with many, many extras present that chose to apparently disregard their non-disclosure agreements. If you want the scene as unspoiled as is possible, you should stay away from reports and photos taken by extras that participated.
Chances are if you read too deeply into news coming out of that event that there will be some major spoilers awaiting you, so from one fan to another, try to stay away from that kind of news!
New York Production Locale
Jett reported on August 10th that one of the locations to be used for the film’s New York City shoot will be the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge in the Fall, with the only detail about the shoot being that it’s for a “big action scene.”
In other news, some little picture was released having to do with the film, and some people seem to have a lot to say…
First Image of Hathaway as Catwoman Released, Reaction of Fans and Hathaway
Out of a quiet Friday morning comes a big bit of news for Batman fans, and it’s one that showcases Anne Hathaway as Catwoman in the first released promotional image featuring her. Warner Bros. acted wisely in this regard, as spy pictures emerged from the set later that very day showing Hathaway’s stunt double in costume. One of the most curious things about this released image is that Selina is seen riding the Batpod. Does this symbolize some sort of partnership between her and Batman? Or, did she pull off the ultimate heist and steal one of Batman’s vehicles? Time will tell!
The response from the fans about the costume has been decidedly mixed, although both Jett and I agree that most of the vocal negative reactions have been coming from a very loud minority and won’t have any bearing on a mainstream audience’s perception of Catwoman. Jett has compared the reaction to this image’s Catwoman not having “ears” to the negative reaction similar fans gave to Heath Ledger’s Joker for not having a so-called “perma-white” face, meaning that the Joker’s complexion wasn’t exactly as it is in the source material.
Hathaway herself has commented on the reaction, saying, “What I am happy to say is, if you didn't like the photo, you only see about a 10th of what that suit can do. And if you did like the photo, you have excellent taste." She elaborated further in a quote from an interview with ShockYa.com.
Speaking personally, I’m pretty happy with what we’ve seen of Catwoman’s costume so far. As was reported earlier, it looks to be taking much of its inspiration from the Darwyn Cooke design from the early 2000’s in the comics, and that I definitely like. It also seems to hark back a bit to the Julie Newmar costume of the 1960’s TV series since she doesn’t appear to be wearing a cowl of any kind. Time will tell if the studio decides to release more of Catwoman, but if this is all we get, I’d say this is a pretty decent take on the costume.
As for the negativity being spouted by some of my fellow comics fans, I have to slightly rant for a second: have you not learned your lesson? By that same token, have you somehow forgotten who’s sitting behind the director’s chair for this film? Christopher Nolan has managed to give us some of, if not THE best films in superhero cinema. If you were one of the fans that ranted about the Joker’s design and then looked like a fool due to that performance being one of the best ever in a film of this type, why do you feel compelled to complain about another known character in a Nolan Batman film? Is there really anything to worry about?
As I recently said in a Modern Myth Media podcast, some of these fans treat these costumes as if they can somehow definitively make or break their relationship with their favorite characters, yet they still go to bed wearing Batman pajamas. Guys and/or gals, please: just calm down. Given what we’ve had before, is there really much to worry about, or is this just much ado about nothing? Something tells me we’ll get at least a similar treatment from this director for his grand finale, perhaps even more of one. Sit back and enjoy the ride, trust me, you’ll live longer for not worrying and ranting so much.
That seems to about do it for the news and info coming off of the set of The Dark Knight Rises! What do you think of all of these images and video popping up? Do you like Catwoman’s new costume? What do you think the winter setting will do for the final product? Do you get more intrigued with Bane the more Tom Hardy refuses to say about him! Sound off, and I’ll see you in a couple of weeks!
343 Days Until The Dark Knight Rises