New Batman Update: Christian "Bruce Wayne" Bale Busted, Josph Gordon-Levitt Cops Out, Bane Drops a Bomb, and More
11.03.11 by BJSprecher
After less than a week filming in Manhattan, director Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises (TDKR) production has already yielded scores of new "spy" pics and videos thanks to the very public locations where several of the scenes were shot and the die-hard fans and paparazzi who turn out whenever and wherever the Bat touches down. Fittingly, title star Christian Bale was the principal actor most frequently photographed, but we also got our best look yet at Joseph Gordon-Levitt (JGL), as well as new shots of Batman's 'Batwing' aerial combat craft, video footage of a gang of motorcycle-riding goons harassing the Gotham Stock Exchange, and more.
The first spy pics to emerge from the Manhattan set were taken in front of Trump Tower, which doubles (exterior only) for the headquarters of Wayne Enterprises. Most of the shots featured a snazzy-dressed Bale as billionaire playboy and crimefighter-by-night, Bruce Wayne, but JGL was also captured in several shots wearing the Gotham Police Department uniform of John Blake. In the scene being shot, Blake escorted Wayne from Wayne Enterprises, past a throng of reporters and photographers, and into a waiting patrol car. Whether Wayne was going in for questioning or being placed under police custody for his own safety is unclear.
What is also unclear is when the fan speculation about JGL's "real role" in the movie will end. Even though all indications are that JGL is simply playing "a Gotham City beat cop assigned to special duty," many believe that he is really going to turn out to be Batman's sidekick, Robin, or even the new Batman should Wayne retire or get crippled by Bane (Tom Hardy) in the movie. Others are convinced that JGL is actually playing a villain such as the Riddler or possibly an agent of Ra's al Ghul's (Josh Pence) League of Shadows. With Nolan, anything is possible, but we're thinking that JGL's probably just playing a cop, albeit a badass cop who either supports Batman or is determined to bring him to justice.
Bale and JGL weren't the only principal cast members spotted in Manhattan. Matthew Modine, who plays a mysterious character named Nixon, was also spotted on the set. Based on his attire and proximity to Officer Blake in the photos, Nixon appears to be a detective of some sort, though why he was handling a pair of pink panties is anyone's guess.
As curious as we are about Wayne's situation and Nixon's penchant for pink, the most intriguing shots from the Manhattan shoot involve Batman — we're pretty sure it's actually a dummy and not Bale or a stunt double — and his Batwing swooping through the streets of and hovering over what appears to be a gigantic bomb. The large spherical orb was surrounded by two metal bands and had a counter set to "00:20." What is it? It's pretty clear to us it's a bomb, but if you need further proof just think back to August, when TDKR was filming in Pittsburgh. During that shoot, Hardy as Bane rolled a similar device onto the football field during a "Gotham Rogues" game and declared it "the instrument" of Gotham's "liberation," which sounds an awful lot like a magnanimous way of saying, "The bomb that's gonna kill y'all."
And, while we now know that the TDKR shoot will not include "Occupy Wall Street" protesters, it appears that there will be a violent parallel of sorts to the (mostly) non-violent action taking place in and around Zuccotti Park in the movie. In the following videos, a group of thugs burst from within the
New York Gotham Stock Exchange astride motorcycles and carrying at least two hostages. It appears as if Bane is declaring war on capitalism as well as Batman.
The Dark Knight Rises was expected to shoot in New York City for two weeks, but as of yesterday morning the crew had begun to set up shop in Newark, New Jersey. It's unknown whether this will be a first unit or second unit shoot, but we'll likely know the answer to that question soon enough.