THE DARK KNIGHT RISES to Shoot in Pittsburgh

     April 5, 2011


While there was some speculation that The Dark Knight Rises would shoot in New Orleans, the production has passed on the city and will set up shop in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the production could be in the city for four to six weeks shooting in downtown and the surrounding area.  While I would like to say this is a further indictment of how little Christopher Nolan cares about the look of Gotham City, I’m not sure if TDKR even takes place in Gotham.  However, Chicago (the home of The Dark Knight) can’t be mistaken for Pittsburgh, so either Nolan doesn’t really care that the look of Batman’s hometown will change yet again or we’re not going to Gotham at all.

Hit the jump for more on the film and a statement from Nolan about shooting in Pittsburgh this summer.  The Dark Knight Rises opens July 20, 2012.  Click here for all of our Dark Knight Rises coverage.

Nolan released the following statement regarding the production’s move to Pittsburgh:

“Pittsburgh is a beautiful city.  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.”

I briefly visited Pittsburgh last summer for a friend’s wedding and thought it was a nice place, but obviously I haven’t done the intense level of location-scouting that helped to make the city an appealing choice for the production.

While plot details remain heavily under wraps, we know that Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, and Morgan Freeman will all be returning.  They’ll be joined by Anne Hathaway as Catwoman, Tom Hardy as Bane, Juno Temple as a “street-smart Gotham girl”, along with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and possibly Marion Cotillard in unconfirmed roles (although they’ve been rumored for Alberto Falcone and Talia al Ghul, respectively).

Christopher Nolan image Batman The Dark Knight

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  • mrbatmatt

    Any word on if they are still planning on shooting in Detroit? That production is almost enough to make me want to go home!

    • Wolstenholme

      Why would they ever film in Detroit…Batman doesn’t protect the ghetto. That’s like reinterpreting Spider-Man in Compton…plus they wouldn’t want the actors to get hit by stray bullets



      • Wolstenholme

        If that’s what the facts make me

  • IllusionOfLife

    I know that all of your stories have to get that cynical angle or else the world will cease to exist as we know it, but are you really trying to argue that Chris Nolan doesn’t know or care about what he’s doing? You’re really reaching now Matt.

    • Matt Goldberg

      I’m saying that the design of Gotham City doesn’t appeal to him. It’s neither good nor bad, but it’s clear that Nolan doesn’t have much interest in turning Gotham City into a character like Burton or Schumacher did.

      • mrbatmatt

        Agreed, not to mention the fact that the Narrows disappeared completely in the second movie.

      • jymmymack

        Did you just cite Schumacher as the proper way of turning Gotham into a character? Sorry, I’d rather go to Nolan’s generic city than Candyland.

      • Wolstenholme

        Wow…I completely disagree, with the pros and cons of Nolan’s Batman interpretation in mind I would still say that they are the best of any Batman movie to grace the screen


        You say its neither good nor bad but its as if you are implying its a bad thing.

        I would say he cares more about the story and characters and does not want them overshadowed by the locale.

        Burton and Schumacher made mockeries of the Franchise and their versions of Gotham were cartoonish and borish. They felt more like set pieces than real city streets.

        TDK felt like a real city and to be honest not once did I ask myself “what city was this shot in”?

        My ONLY complaint is echoed by someone else on here when they mention the narrows completely being erased from the TDK.

        I understand it is because they were not prevelant to the story and I believe it is the same here, we dont even know if Pittsburg will be Gotham.


        when did so many racist dickwads start visiting this site, used to be able to write an opinon based on movies not skin color or gender, you are are dumb as shit.

      • Wolstenholme

        “when did so many racist dickwads start visiting this site, used to be able to write an opinon based on movies not skin color or gender, you are are dumb as shit.”

        Since when is it racist to have an opinion douche…what are they gonna do, dress the streets of detroit to look like a prosperous city hahah please. I bet you’re one of the people that thinks they should add some black people into the Hobbit just for political correctness. Just look at your comments, you sir are in fact the most stupid and ignorant of all

      • TheLongHalloween

        I agree with Matt to be honest. I was disappointed with the huge change of Gotham’s appearance in TDK…I really loved the gritty, unique Blade Runner style Gotham that we got in the first movie. I didn’t like the cleaned up Gotham we got in the second movie, it was very boring and looked more like nighttime Metropolis than anything. Whatever Nolan plans on doing with Pittsburgh, I hope it’s closer to the Blade Runner-esque Gotham from BB that they shot in London and Chicago rather than the cleaned up, bland looking version we got in TDK.

  • lame duck

    Umm..i dont know how to feel about this one. Are they at least going to shoot exterior shots in Chicago? I mean Chicago is such a vast-gotham like city that seemed perfect. I spent time in Pittsburg visiting friends and it is indeed a very pretty city, however, it’s a small city if you will. The downtown metropolitan area is gorgeous but small, not the vast, clustered metro jungle portrayed on Gotham. Oh wellz, I keep telling mysef…in Nolan we trust.

  • Cali Kid

    Are you people seriously questioning Christopher Nolan’s decisions? ITS CHRISTOPHER NOLAN! He always makes the right choice.

    • Al

      “He always makes the right choice”… unless it has to do with the casting of Rachel Dawes.

      • Cali Kid

        Yeah your right I forgot about that. That was actually a really bad mistake.

  • Infinitemonkey

    Its going to be shooting in Pittsburg!? OMG! What does that mean?! What should I do?!
    Should we panick?!
    Where’s my teddy Bear?!! LOL

  • Matt Mc

    All I have to say is…In Nolan we trust.

    • Mike

      I’m so sick of this “in Nolan we trust” nonsense.

      His films have been Batman-In-Name-Only, giving us a whiny Bruce Wayne who “would burn down my father’s house.” Instead of the self-directed hero of the comics, we get a mumbler who was talked into being a hero by his girlfriend. Then we get him trained by an arch-villain, who is posing as someone else. We get a Batman who “won’t kill you, but i won’t save you either.” We get Scarecrow on a horse. And we get whatever-the-hell the ending to DARK KNIGHT was.

      “Why’s he running away, dad?”

      “Because we have to chase him.”

      “Why? He didn’t do anything wrong. Did he?”

      “Um, I’m gonna say a bunch of gobbledygook now, okay, son?”

      “Awright, dad. Doesn’t make any sense though.”

      “I know. Just let me say it, and then we’ll go get cheeseburgers.”

      Nolan’s films are ugly and boring.

      He’s popular because Schumacher went so far in the wrong direction, fanboys would’ve gone ga-ga over anything.

      I’ve been a fan of Batman for thirty years. I don’t trust Nolan for anything, and I’m glad this will be the end of him.

      • Alan Stowe

        You’ve obviously never read the comics then have you? He was trained by FIVE arch villains including David Cain, Henri Ducard (who in the books is his own character, not a fake name) and Lady.. Only in the comics, he trained under them on purpose. It wasn’t a mistake. Well, Henri Ducard started out looking good in the comics as he was a french detective but ends up proving to be corrupt as hell. Batman doubts and reinvents himself every few years in the books even today. Jesus Christ… people who don’t know the canon should keep their ignorant ass comments to themselves. That read like one of those MTV or LA Times critiques with a few comic references clearly sprinkled in to pretend they have cred, only to, in the miss use of them, prove they’ve read like 2 comics of a particular character.

        The most shocking thing about this article to me is that the writer clearly doesn’t understand that no film set in A city stays IN that city exclusively… unless they have to for budget. But the best part is, this isn’t ACTUALLY Chicago… its Gotham. Its fictional, its vast, its supposed to be very old. Therefore it has a lot of different architecture from a lot of different periods kept up or not kept up depending on its area’s economic demographic… so basically anything goes so long as it fits the tone of the film. You know… basic location scouting 101 in other words.

      • Alan Stowe

        Also… for those who actually know that Nolan has been primarily inspired by Long Halloween and Dark Victory, two intertwining story arcs by Jeph Loeb and drawn by Tim Sale, will have no doubt also read Batman Haunted Knight, also by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. In Batman Haunted Knight, you will find a very awesome pic of Scarecrow riding a horse. That was a direct homage to the source material Nolan is studying.

    • Mike

      I’m so tired of this “in Nolan we trust” nonsense.

      So over-rated, it’s almost funny.

      His films have all been Batman-In-Name-Only. Bruce Wayne is not a whiny, pouting mumbler who needed to be goaded into heroism by his girlfriend or his butler. And Batman doesn’t wear a Robocop-looking suit that would require three or four hours to get into, either.

      I don’t trust Nolan for nothing, and I’m relieved this will be the end of his time in Gothamish City.

      Bring on the re-boot. Somebody will get it right eventually.

      • Wolstenholme

        Quit your bitchin man…maybe you just have bad taste…actually not maybe…you have bad taste

      • Migz13

        To all those Nolan Hater out there please stop all your trolling ang go back to the holes you all came from.
        The Dark Knight maybe in the slightest sense overrated but to call it a lame movie is absurd!!
        you should all burn in Bat-Hell!!

  • fincherfan

    what do you mean will change “again”? yeah you can argue that the Blade Runner-ish of Gotham in Batman Begins was different from the Michael Mann-ish of Gotham in TDK. but remember, the “tumbler scene” in Begins has resemblance with the “tumbler/batpod scene” in TDK.

  • Dedpool

    I’m going to say he’ll use establishing shots of Chicago for Gotham, and location shots from Pittsburgh for the actual shoot. The thing is Transformers: Dark of the Moon was shooting in Chi-town and used the same bridges that were used in TDK so he may be trying to get away from people saying “Hey what are the transformers doing in Gotham?” Also the thing about the difference in Gothams is…well there wasn’t one. The modern brighter part of Gotham we see more of in TDK is the same as the Gotham we see in the Monorail flash back in “Begins” and the end sequence is the same place too just at night, though it begins in “The Barrens.” Thats the other reason for the difference in style. Most of “Begins” takes place in the Barrens, and I don’t think they even went there in TDK.

    • Al

      Do you mean “The Narrows”?

  • theCount

    I LIVE IN PITTSBURGH!!!! i do understand what everyone is saying that its not exactly the same big city feel as past gotham citys but pittsburgh has alot of old stone buildings intermixed with newer steel ones which is what iv always thought gotham looked like. so if he is just planning on doing a lot of small location shots i think pittsburgh is great choice but he wont really be able to do any chase seens like the past movies.

    • theCount

      i also think arkham asylum is going to play a part in this movie which is one reason i think he picked pittsburgh bc it has a big, old , empty, stone jail where he could easily do the scenes.

      its also really cheap to make movies in pittsburgh so he could just be trying to save money

      • tir na nog

        I hope he uses Arkham for this one,I kind of missed it in the second one..even a new,reconstructed one.

        With regards to the Gotham angle,there is such a thing as cgi backgrounds.Or,since the film will probably shoot for four months in total {if not more} a portion of the story will take place outside of Gotham.

        Cant wait.

  • Billy Norrby

    Stupid and overtly negative article. If anything, these last two Batman movies has been stories about Gotham city so to say that Nolan doesn’t care about the look of the city is just plain ignorant.

    Isn’t it good that the look of Dark Knight is different from Begins? Did Empire strikes back look just like Star Wars? Batman Begins is great, but had a smaller budget and the sets more of a smaller, condensed, soundstage feel at times. Dark Knight opened up Gotham City and made it huge and epic. All major cities have diverse areas…..How similar is Brooklyn to Wall Street?

    I am sure that whatever streets and buildings of Pittsburg show up in
    Rises, I am certain that they will fit perfectly with the look of the movie. Don’t be an ass.

  • Steve ‘Frosty’ Weintraub

    I’ve been to Pittsburgh on a set visit for I Am Number Four. Chances are Nolan is going to film at night, and I’m sure the city will look awesome.

    What’s also cool about Pittsburgh is that not many Hollywood movies shoot there, so Nolan should be able to find some cool streets and dark alleys that have never been on film.

    Like Pixar, Nolan gets a free pass from me. Beyond excited for the next Dark Knight.

    • Joey Robinson

      Agreed Frosty and Norrby. Geez Matt… chill.

  • rocky

    FUCK NOLAN and his generic take on Batman. Give me the DCU Batman ala TAS. I’m glad Nolan’s run is over after this one.

  • Tom

    I’m from Chicago, haven’t been there in years though. I went back to visit family and realized that Chicago had the most polluted airport, streets and etc. The people there are rude and cynical to the level of being stupid. Hopefully TDK will completely avoid it since it is not fit for Gotham.

    As for PA, I dated two women from PA and they hated black guys. Their racism disgusted me. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only two people that I dated that were racist ended up coming from that city.

    • ogreboy2666

      What? Really? The population of Pitt is 312,819 (2006) so you have dated exactly .0006% of Pitt’s population, and on those strong numbers you are inferring that the other 312,817 are racist too. I would counter that since you have dated fewer people then the number of people living in Pittsburgh, you only date racists… by your logic not mine
      Coincidence, I think not!
      And not everyone from PA is from Pitt, therefore not everyone from PA is racist.

    • Wolstenholme

      Well well Tom, sheltered much?

  • Nothin better to do

    Pittsburgh is one of the most picturesque “river city’s” in the US with the largest concentration of old steel bridges that you will find anywhere. It makes for a very industrial backdrop and I think people will be pleasantly surprised by what ends up on film. Obviously the overall establishing shots will be of Chicago (and according to earlier reports) may even include some aerials of NYC.

    People really need to calm down – anyone who thinks that Nolan would seriously try to have Pittsburgh pass for Gotham is an idiot. Movies are make-believe and there is this process called editing (you might have heard of it) that allows a filmmaker to piece together fragments of footage in order to tell a story.

  • ogreboy2666

    There have been a few movies that have chosen to shoot in Pitt recently and there is always a bit of snark (perceived) from the writer of the articles. Why? I have been to Pitt numerous times and can not see what the problem is. First of all, Pitt is not flat. While there are some hills in Chicago, they are nothing like those found in Pittsburgh. The cities just feel different because of their backgrounds. Nolan knows what he is doing and even if he doesn’t have a Chicago/Gotham in it, a Gotham from Pittsburgh is hardly as bad as some people make it out to be.

  • Grimcicle

    I’m sure the film will still be filled with establishing aerial shots of Chicago.

  • Marc

    I am from Pittsburgh and I am glad to see the majority of the comments on this post are supportive, or at least level-headed, about the decision to shoot in the Burgh. It’s a beautiful town. Maybe Batman will have to fight Bane in the endzone of a Steeler playoff game. I can see it now, Bane has the upper hand but BOOM, out of nowhere James Harrison launches himself blasts into Bane, and gives him a concussion (James Harrison will still receive a fine by the NFL but I’m sure Bruce Wayne will cover it). As Batman walks down the players hall towards the locker room, a small child beckons from behind, and throws him a Coke. Batman takes a drink, and throws the kid the Batsuit and walks slowly down the hall naked. Cue the music. THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. Lol

  • unfriendly guy

    Remember this is the final installment of the trilogy. Pittsburgh is probably used as a contrast to the dark and gloomy of Chicago. It’s a transformation sort of thing. Don’t assert your stupid assumption when you don’t know anything about the film.

  • URdouche

    He’s Christopher Nolan you Douche Bag. Obviously he’s sees something you Douchie mind cant. So eat it

  • Brandon Avery

    Ummmmm isn’t he only filming there for four to six weeks??? Yes! So everyone relax please…

  • Eric J. Baker

    The author of this article must not understand how filmmaking works. When shooting in a city, you are not restricted to shots of the skyline. Moreover, cities are much, much more than just their tall buildings. Filmmaking is all about framing and context, and with some good location scouting and the right doctoring, you can make just about any city look like just about any other city.

    For example, the indie movie Narc was set in Detroit, but aside from a few establishing shots here and there, the movie was almost entirely shot in Toronto. Yet the end result looks very, very much like Detroit, despite being shot in a city famous for how clean it is.

    So hold off on the location criticism, the movie’s going to look the same, it’s not like when the Dawes character was recast.

  • Brucie Bruce

    Isn’t it possilbe he has all the ‘GOTHAM’ footage he needs already…?

    I mean the man has shot two batman films prior to this…I don’t see the need to revisit locations for exterior city shots or skyscraper shots they probably already have tons of hours of filmed already.

    We’re not going to see a chase through the city and trucks exploding because its been done…Nolans going in a different direction here.

    Plus Wayne Manor is rebuilt in this one. The film may be spending a lot of time at Wayne Manor like in the first film. Bane is a prisoner and science experiment and Catwoman is a jewel thief…so lots of interior shots.

    I really don’t see what the issue is here. The man made a city sandwich in Inception, you think he can’t mimic Gotham City in Pittsburgh?

  • touche

    why iz douche everyone favorite word on this site. and i mean everyone!!!


    here’s my piece on the whole sitch: the more cleaned-up look of the city in the dark knight from its predecessor could well reflect the fact that harvey “the white knight” dent was well on the track to cleaning up gotham, and mob-related crime rates had gone down somewhat since batman begun. each film so far has had a different colour scheme to represent different things, so maybe christopher nolan cares about the whole city-as-a-character-thing a little more than you think/have cared to think about. nolan definitely knows what he’s doing; remember that he wasn’t even going to make this film (“how many third films in franchises HAVEN’T sucked?” he quipped) unless it was done perfectly. trust the man, he’s chosen pittsburgh for a reason.

  • Brian

    I think downtown Pittsburgh may just be a stand in for certain section of Gotham. Remember, the Chicago skyline is used in the movies but other “fictional”buildings are inserted. It could also mean that scenes involving the other characters are filmed in another city separate to Gotham, if the story takes place in different locations. Remember that Dark Knight took part in Hong Kong for a major part in the story – the extradition of Chang (I think that was his name)

  • Jerkreel

    I don’t think it has occurred to anyone that the reason why WB has gone with Pittsburgh instead of Chicago could be of the Tax break P.A. has been offering to many of the Productions in Hollywood(which was better than what Chicago had offered). In the past year there has been a hike of Productions going on in P.A. believe it or not.

  • occhile1984

    If I see even one Steeler jersey or terrible towel, i will walk out of this movie.

  • William

    As has already been stated; this happens many times in film. I live in Philadelphia, and a film crew came here to shoot scenes that were supposed to take place in San Francisco. It’s nothing new and nothing to get touchy about. Plus, Gotham’s a fictional city, one that can possibly have different sections, areas, etc.

  • Pgitt
    The rust and remnants of old industry will look great on film. Pittsburgh might be small, but it can be made to look like a big city easily. I doubt Nolan will use shots of the Pittsburgh skyline, but he will make good use of the bridges and perhaps the incline.

  • John

    Collider, you complain about Gotham not being the same and that Chris Nolan seems not to care about the consistency of the city, but realize that even Gotham is a character, which changes as well. Only a talented director like Nolan can recognize how a city evolves along with the characters. Similar to the comics, Gotham isn’t the same–artists change the look and feel of Gotham constantly. With that said, I’m glad Nolan chose to change the look of the city because this will only add to the greatness of the next batman movie.

  • Nate H

    I like this idea, actually. I also think it’s nice to have the look of Gotham change subtly as the story and world of this version of Batman changes and progresses. Batman Begins was much more gritty and intimate, so Gotham reflected that. The Dark Knight had a much more large and epic tone to it, so Gotham shifted accordingly. Who knows what the Dark Knight Rises will be…if I had to guess, it would probably be something that will be reflected in the surrounding of Pittsburgh.

    I personally live in Illinois and visit Chicago all the time. But I wasn’t attached to it like it was my brother. I even recognized some buildings in the long shots, but I never thought “HEY, this isn’t GOTHAM! I hate you, NOLAN!!!!!!!!!!” People need to get over themselves and their utterly ridiculous obsessioon with minute details and enjoy the plot of the film. Gotham is FICTIONAL. Nolan can do whatever he wants, and I guarantee you it will be better than the first four Batman pictures.

  • jesse

    Christopher Nolan’s movies inspire a polarized debate ground.

    one side: people LOVE the realism that has been set (realistic cityscapes, physics, action etc…)

    the other side: HATE the realism that has been set (HES A SUPER HERO! etc.)

    I happen to love the movies, I just really happen to dig, Christopher Nolan’s style. It’s not for everyone, but neither is Burton’s… I don’t have a real problem with the city being used, because i DONT KNOW what it’s being used for just yet. (4-6 weeks 30-44 days) that’s about half the shoot i’m guessing.

    Let’s just all agree that Batman: The Animated Series, is the best representation of 90% of the Batman Universe. K cool.

  • TheShred

    Settle down, folks. So Gotham might look a bot different. It needs to evolve as a character just like Spiderman does in DKR.

  • footballfan

    is marion cotillard already confirmed to join TDKR?

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  • G

    In my opinion, Chicago is the best city in this country and an awesome one to film movies in. I don’t understand the move to Pittsburgh, a much different and honestly lamer city for the next batman, but I guess I too will trust Nolan. I just hope he sticks with Chicago as the image of Gotham and not the lame steel city.