The NYTimes have posted a very interesting Dark Knight report which closely follows Chris Nolan’s work as director. It is a must read, even if the minor plot spoilers in the first paragraph would put you off. I’ve included some choice excerpts for you below, along with the new images that feature in the article.
In so many ways this isn’t what you’d expect of a $180 million Hollywood comic-book movie sequel with a zillion moving parts, a cast of thousands and sets from here to Hong Kong. Anyone else would shoot indoors, use digital effects or wait for clear skies; Mr. Nolan rolls with the weather’s punches, believing that the messiness of reality can’t be faked. Another filmmaker would leave a shot like this in the hands of a second-unit director, but Mr. Nolan doesn’t use one; if it’s on the screen, he directed it, and his longtime cinematographer, Wally Pfister, worked the camera. Stars on any other movie would have fled to their trailers to wait in comfort until needed again. Here, Gary Oldman is watching and shivering along with everybody else, cracking jokes to keep warm.
Now the question is whether Mr. Nolan’s vision of Batman can not only maintain its hold on the imaginations of comic fans and critics, but expand its reach to a wider summer moviegoing audience, even as the death of Heath Ledger, who played the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” has added unanticipated morbidity to the film’s deliberate darkness.
“As we looked through the comics, there was this fascinating idea that Batman’s presence in Gotham actually attracts criminals to Gotham, attracts lunacy,” he said. “When you’re dealing with questionable notions like people taking the law into their own hands, you have to really ask, where does that lead? That’s what makes the character so dark, because he expresses a vengeful desire.”
Will Mr. Ledger’s death cast a pall over “The Dark Knight,” whose tragic plot turns already make it much darker than “Batman Begins”? “We’ll see,” said Mr. Robinov, of Warner Brothers. Mr. Nolan, for his part, said he felt a “massive sense of responsibility” to do right by Mr. Ledger’s “terrifying, amazing” performance.
After the big explosion, little else can impress us now, however filming continued for at least one more day in Chicago, with Bruce Wayne’s Lamborghini being spotted kitted up and driving around. Two sets of pictures are out there, the first comes via draperyfalls,
Secondly, chgojobs had this pull right out in front of him:
He carried on to follow the action and captured this video:
First up, Lonnie set in this nice little spoiler-filled report from August 25th:
I was at the filming for The Dark Knight yesterday, they were filming a memorial service for an important character who dies, Police Commisoner Loeb. There was a stage set up in front of “City Hall” with a picture with a wreath around it. The picture was of Loeb. During filming of the scene, they would shoot of a gun and the crowd would scatter. No principal characters there when I was there, but I hear Eckhart was there earlier.
Patti later wrote to confirm this and give a few more interesting details:
Went downtown 8/24 to check out the filming. We saw them set up (around 730) for a memorial service for the police commissioner and possibly Harvey Dent. (We could not get a good look at the picture displayed on the stage). When they were ready to start to film , the streets were cleared of onlookers. There were a lot of police extras there. Very hard to see from a block away. This part was filmed right in front of the Board of Trade. We left and came back around 1130. We walked around to the back of the set were people were allowed to stand but they were very strict on no pictures. We saw Gary Oldman. The police horses were there (actual horses from a Wisconsin stable) and police for the 21 gun salute which we just missed. They broke for lunch around 12noon.
Drove past (my husband is not into this adventure) Brach’s today 8/25. They were working on the front of the hospital.
As per usual, run the mouse over the area above to view the spoilers.
Alright, I am sure you guys already know where they were shooting today: Berghoff’s (I think I spelled that right), some kind of old and classy restaurant/bar type. The crew had vehicles all on Adams and the adjoining streets. The first time I walked by early on in the day they were shooting inside. They had some screens up over the exterior and I could hear them yell “rolling”. I didn’t know who was inside at this point. Outside there was a large bus that had “Corerctions” written on the side of it. It was a GPD bus, presumably for hauling off prisoners of a sort. There were also a few GPD extras milling around. I walked further down toward State St. and saw all kinds of GPD and Gotham cars waiting to be used. I figured some exterior stuff would be happening later. I wasn’t wrong.
Around 2:30 or 3:00 I made my way back and sure enough, there was quite a bit of action. There was a whole crowd of extras dressed in suits, they seemed to be reporters or maybe just onlookers. In front of this crowd was a GPD officer holdig a shotgun (very cool). Some of the extras were pretending to shiver..don’t forgett the fall setting. It was amusing to watch. A bit further down in front of Berghoff’s was were the good stuff was happening. Nolan and co. were shooting a scene where GPD and Lt. Gordon escort Maroni and his goons into the corrections bus, busting them. I stood across the street and watched (taking pics and got video of one whole take). Eric Roberts looked great as Maroni, cuffed and all. After each take they would wipe the sweat off of Oldman, Roberts and the extras, attempting to keep the atmosphere of Fall in place (certainly tough with today’s weather).
It was around 8:50 am Sunday 8/19 on the corner of west Monroe street and south Canal street. Block away from Union Station. Looked to be round 30 extras. Never did see any lead characters. The security exclaimed “pictures up,” and the extras began to walk around as random people on the street. I think they were filming inside the building or just on the corner. Not sure what building it is. Anyway, the people were just walking around then I heard two gunshots and extras began to run everywhere. What’s more is I did hear a loud sinister laugh, which was without a doubt in my mind, the Joker ala Heath Ledger.
And these are the pictures:
Rory was also on the scene to capture some GCN images in the pouring rain.
Alright, so I went back down to the set in the pouring rain and got some pics. Due to the rain they stopped shooting so all of the extras were sitting around the lobby of the building… which is now the GCN, which I am guessing is “Gotham City News” or “Gotham Cable News” (though I favor the first). I was able to walk right up the building and started taking photos. There were a lot of PA’s and Extras around but they didn’t seem to mind me too much. I got some courage and walked right into the lobby. Inside it was dressed as a TV station with GCN and tv screens all over the place. I didn’t stay too long and didn’t snap any pics for fear of being caught. It was cool to see though. Also saw the official set photographer who looked a bit bummed…maybe because of the pic leak.
It seems like Nolan and his team have been at it once again in down town Chicago, although this time with a notable addition — Christian Bale has at long last been spotted on set. These pictures and set reports are all from the August 12th shoot. To outline the events we have, via X-realms, El Eshoo’s report — to start with:
I had a chance to watch/gawk at some filming of Batman (Sunday, Aug 12th) at the 330 North Wabash Building. They had several different vehicles out there (Gotham Police Dept, Gotham News Vans, Military vehicles, Bomb Squad truck, etc.) which was cool to see. But I’d say the best of all: I was lucky enough to be 10 feet from Christopher Nolan, Aaron Eckhart and Mr. Bruce Wayne himself … Christian Bale! They were filming some “Press Conference” stuff in the lobby of 330 earlier in the day, broke for lunch around 1:00-ish and then filmed some more “Press Conference” stuff.
Then they brought in some Army-type guys along with camouflaged Hummers and Trucks with machine-gunners to shoot some Helicopter fly-bys. They closed down a SHITLOAD of areas for this (police stopping traffic from Michigan Ave to LaSalle), not allowing anyone in the area (no foot traffic aloud during fly-bys down Chicago River towards lake) and were even heavier on the NO PICTURES crap. The choppers came pretty low as they passed over the courtyard outside of 330 North Wabash where military and Gotham press people were all around. Cameras on the ground were filming the fly-bys.
Mr. Eshoo was able to take a fair few pictures in his time amongst Rory’s First Kiss:
For more of these shots check out the X-realms report. Next up, Sterno74 managed to capture a fantastic high resolution shot of the fake National Guard fly overs, click the image for large or check out his flickr profile.
And last, but certainly not least, a fellow by the name of Spanish39 was on location to snatch a few more images, this time of the infamous Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne — here he is with Christopher Nolan: