Four Places to Spot Christian Bale and the Batman Crew Around Town

Pittsburgh has been overtaken by the cast and crew of The Dark Knight Rises.


Image by Dan Rugh, Commonwealth Press

From the thousands who turned up at casting calls to the persistent (false) rumors that director Christopher Nolan and his team are planning to blow up the Civic Arena during filming, Allegheny County has been gripped with a serious case of Bat Fever.

Since none of us can actually see the new Batman film until next July, there’s no cure in sight; however, there is a healthy way to express your Batmania and explore our fair city: a spirited night of bat hunting! News of cast sightings will likely dominate most local Twitter feeds this month, but if you want to track down the caped crusader (played by Christian Bale), you’ll have to be prepared.

To aid your hunt, Pittsburgh magazine chatted with Jeff Bigley, a Batman expert and owner of Arkham Gift Shoppe, a comic-book store in Allison Park. Based on his extensive knowledge of the comics and films, we were able to pick out a few likely spots for you to find Bale and company.

Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail
The namesake of Arkham Gift Shoppe is Gotham’s notorious Arkham Asylum. The old downtown prison is from the same era, and the Pittsburgh Film Office has made no secret of the fact that Pittsburgh’s architecture drew Nolan to the city. Furthermore, Bane, a villain who will be played by Tom Hardy in the last film of Nolan’s trilogy, freed all of Arkham’s inmates in the comics. “It looks like the jail and courthouse could fit into Gotham City,” Bigley says. “The casting called for thugs and cops—that might be for a riot in the streets.”

Heinz Field
The home of the Pittsburgh Steelers is a confirmed shooting location, and rumors of a Gotham football team appearing in the film have surfaced. Bigley speculates that a crowded stadium could be an ideal place for one of the film’s maniacal bad guys to attack. “What better way to gather together 60,000 people? In the casting call, they did ask for sports fans,” he points out.

Cultural District
“Gotham tends to morph into what it needs to be,” says Bigley. And, he adds, Pittsburgh probably won’t be identifiable to an outsider: In the first two films, Nolan and his crew were careful to keep Gotham looking like Gotham and not previous filming locales (England and Chicago). “The theater district could make Pittsburgh look like a bigger city, though,” Bigley adds. “Gotham City has a population of eight to 10 million.”

Hill District, North Side and Mount Washington
Anne Hathaway will play Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises. According to Bigley, the most likely backstory for her character would be a working-class girl turned cat burglar. Her neighborhood, then, may well be a blue-collar area with a view of downtown, like Mount Washington, the Hill District or North Side. Don’t assume Bale and Hathaway will be brawling in the streets, though. “She may actually play more as an ally to Batman,” Bigley says. “She’s never really been an evil character.”

UPDATE
Since we went to print with our speculations on the whereabouts of the Caped Crusader, cast and crew have invaded Pittsb- er, Gotham City!

The impending superhero influx was welcomed on Wednesday night, July 27, when a laser-outlined Bat Signal appeared surreptitiously on the wall of Fifth Avenue Place, creating a striking effect to visitors entering downtown via the Fort Pitt Bridge. From there, it was just a matter of waiting for the sightings to begin.

 

A long list of downtown street closures was announced last week, and almost all of the affected blocks are in the middle of the Golden Triangle—the better to mask Pittsburgh's identity and take advantage of densely packed urban buildings, as Bigley alluded. Photos from a shooting location also surfaced in Lawrenceville, featuring cast members Gary Oldman and Marion Cotillard. And while Anne Hathaway, the franchise's new Catwoman, has been spotted in Oakland, as of now, she hasn't been seen in action. (Maybe Hathaway was just after some Pitt grub—she's familiar with Pittsburgh, after all, having previously filmed Love and Other Drugs in town.)

Perhaps the biggest splash was made when photos of Batman (Christian Bale) brawling with villain Bane (Tom Hardy) in Oakland surfaced. Thugs and police officers can be seen brawling in the background; could it be that campus buildings at Pitt and CMU are actually filling in for Arkham Asylum, rather than the old Courthouse (as we speculated?) Perhaps...you can scour the web for potential spoilers if you like, or you could simply wait until the summer of 2012 to get all the info. And filming has just begun—Catwoman may show up at your door yet! If you've got any great stories about filming locations or encounters, let us know in the comments!

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

The list of the regions's 687 leading physicians across 80 specialities.
Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

In a city known for world-class care, a life dedicated to health is rewarding, challenging, and innovative at every level — from med school to the board room.
Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Can McLay reshape the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in his polite, communication-heavy, community-friendly, racially sensitive, 21st-century image?
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Hayes leaves KDKA TV after nearly 37 years with his legacy as one of the city's most respected, fair and accurate reporters – and his priceless sense of humor – firmly intact.
What to Watch Out For in This Year’s Pittsburgh Marathon

What to Watch Out For in This Year’s Pittsburgh Marathon

Marathon weekend can be a challenge for both runners, who are trying to finish the grueling race, and spectators who are simply trying to get around. We've got the info you need, whether you're running or watching from the sidelines.
Philly Chefs With Pittsburgh Roots Win Big at the James Beard Awards

Philly Chefs With Pittsburgh Roots Win Big at the James Beard Awards

Michael Solomonov and Steven Cook have picked up two James Beard awards this year, and Solomonov is in the running for one more.
Seven Cool Things About Dormont's Hollywood Theater

Seven Cool Things About Dormont's Hollywood Theater

After a decades-long cycle of closing and reopening, Pittsburgh’s oldest single-screen theater continues to enchant visitors.

Sign Up for the 412 e-Newsletter

 

Our new, daily e-newsletter is curated by the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine and is designed to give you the very best Pittsburgh has to offer -- delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign me up!
* Email
 First Name
 Last Name
  * = Required Field
 
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

Top Ten Things to Do in Pittsburgh in May

The month's best bets in The 'Burgh.
Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

Best Doctors in Pittsburgh 2016

The list of the regions's 687 leading physicians across 80 specialities.
Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

Making The Rounds: What It Means to be a Doctor in Pittsburgh

In a city known for world-class care, a life dedicated to health is rewarding, challenging, and innovative at every level — from med school to the board room.
Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Why Pittsburgh Police Chief Cameron McLay is Cornered

Can McLay reshape the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police in his polite, communication-heavy, community-friendly, racially sensitive, 21st-century image?
The Eaglets Have Landed

The Eaglets Have Landed

The bald eagles nesting in Hays once again have given birth to a new generation. We take you into the nest to see how quickly the two chicks are growing.
Review: Justin Severino Knocks It Out of the Park With Morcilla

Review: Justin Severino Knocks It Out of the Park With Morcilla

Severino's follow-up to Cure is already winning national accolades.
Edit Module

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Harold Hayes' Biggest Retirement Fear, It's Not What You Think

Hayes leaves KDKA TV after nearly 37 years with his legacy as one of the city's most respected, fair and accurate reporters – and his priceless sense of humor – firmly intact.

Comments


Pittsburgh, only cooler
PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

PittGirl: How You Should Grade A Squishy Tongue

Kennywood Park opens soon and new this season is the return of the famed whale at the entrance of Noah’s Ark. In the name of science, PittGirl paid an early visit to test the squishiness quotient of the whale's all-important tongue.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Umami Izakaya (Finally) Open in Lawrenceville

Umami Izakaya (Finally) Open in Lawrenceville

The much-anticipated Japanese pub from Tamari's Roger Li and Round Corner Cantina's Derek Burnell will serve food and drink deep into the night.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The Best 6 Places to Get a Cup of Tea in Pittsburgh

The quiet rise of Pittsburgh's tea scene gives us a few favorite gems.

Comments


Digital Jukeboxes are Evil, Bar-Ruining Monsters

Digital Jukeboxes are Evil, Bar-Ruining Monsters

The case against TouchTunes, the streaming music loudspeaker that can't stop screwing up the vibe at local bars.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
A By-The-Numbers Draft Has Its Advantages For Steelers This Time

A By-The-Numbers Draft Has Its Advantages For Steelers This Time

For the Steelers, this is a draft that’s long on need but short on intrigue.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Off to the Races

Off to the Races

Want to shade yourself in style at Derby Day and the PNC Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy Spring Hat Luncheon? Look no further.

Comments


Sean Collier's Popcorn for Dinner

The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Your Mother Deserves Better than This Awful Mother's Day Movie

Your Mother Deserves Better than This Awful Mother's Day Movie

Reviews of "Mother's Day," "Keanu," "Green Room" and local film news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
What Type of Favor Do You Favor?

What Type of Favor Do You Favor?

Planning your wedding and can’t think of the best favor that will represent you and your big day? We spoke with three Pittsburgh-area couples to learn more about making the best and most personalized decision possible.

Comments


The latest tips and trends to refresh your home.
Phipps Kicks off the Planting Season

Phipps Kicks off the Planting Season

Welcome spring at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens with the Great Plant Auction, Party in the Tropics and May Market.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
STEM Event for Girls Planned at La Roche College

STEM Event for Girls Planned at La Roche College

The Tech Savvy program from the American Association of University Women aims to interest middle school girls in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Comments