Flick the Bat Signal.
It's official. "The Dark Knight Rises" is coming to Pittsburgh this summer to film the third installment in Christopher Nolan's spectacular franchise starring recent Oscar winner Christian Bale in the title role.
"Pittsburgh is a beautiful city," the London-born director said in a statement. "We have been able to find everything we were looking for here, and I am excited to spend the summer in Pittsburgh with our final installment of Batman."
Mr. Nolan, a favorite of audiences and critics who also made "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight" along with "Inception," "The Prestige" and "Memento," met this morning with representatives of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.
"We are thrilled to be welcoming the Batman film to Pittsburgh, and eager for the economic impact that our city will experience," the mayor said in a statement. "This is another example of the growing film industry in our community, and we will be rolling out the red carpet for them."
Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, said the Warner Bros. production could be here for four to six weeks shooting in Downtown and nearby.
"They're still nailing down actual locations but what they really fell in love with was the diversity of architecture and the gorgeous buildings that we still have in Downtown Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas," she said.
Today's news has been four months in the making (and a couple of months in the rumor mill) and Ms. Keezer said the production had looked at cities elsewhere in this country and abroad. Mr. Nolan has been here a few times and staff multiple times.
"I think it's the most high profile project we've seen. I think it's as a direct result of the success we've had with the film tax-credit program that Pittsburgh is on the map and Southwestern Pennsylvania is considered now for every major production, which is great because it's all about jobs and money," she said.
"We've been thrilled with all the work we've had in Southwestern Pennsylvania but Batman's a known franchise. People know what Batman's about and we're thrilled that they have chosen Pittsburgh."
Ms. Keezer said it was too early to predict how many local cast or crew might be hired or what the demand for extras might be.
The film is slated to arrive in theaters nationwide July 20, 2012.
"A franchise as prestigious as Batman opens our region up to an entirely new audience as filmmakers and studio executives experience Southwestern Pennsylvania," Ms. Keezer said.
"The Dark Knight," released in July 2008, is the third highest grossing movie of all time. Its $533.3 million in North America puts it behind "Avatar" and "Titanic."
In addition to the returning Mr. Bale, who won an Academy Award for his work in "The Fighter," the third movie will introduce Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tom Hardy, who came to Pittsburgh for "Warrior," and Anne Hathaway, who filmed "Love & Other Drugs" here.
Few details are known about the story at this point and that could be the case for some time.
Mr. Nolan will direct "The Dark Knight Rises" from a screenplay he wrote with Jonathan Nolan, from a story by him and David S. Goyer.
Christopher Nolan also will produce the film with his longtime producing partner, Emma Thomas, and Charles Roven. Warner Bros. Pictures will distribute it.