'Dark Knight' snows on Downtown streets

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

Director Christopher Nolan said it would and it did: Snow in August in Pittsburgh.

Parts of Smithfield Street and Oliver Avenue were covered with realistic-looking fake flakes today for the resumption of "The Dark Knight Rises" filming. Cars with Gotham license plates were parked nearby, a Tumbler made an appearance and a camera was spotted on the roof of Saks Fifth Avenue.

Mr. Nolan is living up to his reputation as an efficient filmmaker who starts on time and he was spotted on the street early today in the vicinity of McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant.

It wasn't so much the weather that sent traffic into a tangle but the closed or temporarily blocked streets and bus rerouting. If that weren't enough, striking Verizon workers were out in force, too, Downtown.

Wednesday was the production's first day of shooting Downtown and at least one building is doubling for St. Swithin's Home for Boys according to a sign that could be spotted. Costumes were lined up outside of Trinity Cathedral, and a sign on one door read "Magnus Rex Rest Room," using the alias for the movie's title. The cathedral's website noted that "the crew will shoot scenes in our choir room and fellowship hall. None of our worship spaces will be filmed." At mid-afternoon Wednesday, a yellow school bus with "St. Swithin's" stenciled on the side and a Gotham license plate was parked on Smithfield Street near Fifth Avenue.

The weather was blissfully pleasant after days of intense heat and humidity.

Although it seems as if Batman should almost be paying wage tax as a resident, the movie only started shooting in Lawrenceville July 29. It then moved to Oakland and eventually staged an explosive scene at Heinz Field Saturday and Sunday.


An estimated 15,000 extras were treated to rain, heat, Tumblers, being taken hostage by Bane and his army of mercenaries and the chance to see some of the Pittsburgh Steelers up close.

An email from the organization that solicited the unpaid extras sent a thank you that said, in part, "I've heard one remarkable comment and praise after another by the producers, the director, the crew and actors ...

"There were over 18,000 people on the standby list ... so regardless of your personal experience, you were the lucky ones." The message also said that the signs, costumes and painted faces were among the most impressive in 25 years of BeInaMovie.com.

"The Dark Knight Rises," starring Christian Bale as Batman and Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, started production in India and moved to Great Britain. After Pittsburgh, it will head for Los Angeles and New York and arrive in theaters in July 2012.

Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her Mad About the Movies blog at www.post-gazette.com/movies .


Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?