batman officially comes out tomorrow (Friday March 4) with robert pattinson starring in the reboot. It’s not the first batman movie to hit theaters.
hatfield house and knebworth house became the famous stunt double for wayne manor in tim burton’s classic 1989 batman movie.
Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader filmed scenes in both Hertfordshire stately homes for the blockbuster, also starring Jack Nicholson and Kim Basinger.
There’s a new Batman in Gotham City in 2022, with Robert Pattinson donning the famous cape and cowl in the dual role of vigilante detective and his alter ego, reclusive billionaire Bruce Wayne, in Matt Reeves’ new Batman movie.
but did you know the expected box office success of warner bros.? Was the footage partly shot in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire?
In addition to filming on location in Chicago, USA, and London, Liverpool and Glasgow in the UK, Batman was also filmed on soundstages built at Warner Bros. studios leavesden in hertfordshire and in the neighboring county of bedfordshire at cardington studios.
Over a year of stalking the streets as Batman (Robert Pattinson), striking fear into the hearts of criminals, has brought Bruce Wayne deeper into the shadows of Gotham City.
With only a few trusted allies, Alfred Pennyworth (Andy Serkis) and Lt James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright), among the city’s corrupt network of high-profile officials and figures, the lone vigilante has established himself as the only embodiment of revenge. among the fellow citizens of him.
During the scouting phase of pre-production, the location team looked at several American cities, including Chicago, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and New York, but decided to base principal photography in London and the UK.
production designer james chinlund had some misgivings at first, but once he started exploring manchester and liverpool in england and glasgow in scotland, he saw the potential.
“We noticed a deteriorating gothic layer that we just don’t have in the US,” he says.
“It gave us a real opportunity to combine hands-on set building and some Chicago location work with this amazingly rich tapestry of UK architecture, and try to weave all of that into an American city that has never you’ve seen before.”
In the end, location work included liverpool, glasgow and london, while studios in leavesden and cardington provided sets and backlot space for the massive set builds.
among the mega sets created at leavesden in herts was the iconic batcave.
Second unit filming also took place in Chicago, with stuntmen on the bike and batmobile, as well as drone footage that would seamlessly intertwine with the main images.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at seven of the locations where Batman was filmed.
1. Warner Bros. leavesden studios, hertfordshire
The Batcave, Batman’s Base of Operations, and Wayne Tower were two of the sets built at Leavenden Studios near Watford.
The crew filmed extensively at Warner Bros. studios leavesden using five of the stages and the backlot where gotham city was created.
In Batman, the Batcave is located in the bowels of Wayne Tower, where the vigilante has transformed the old Wayne Terminus train station into his hidden headquarters, accessed through a series of secret tunnels.
“the batcave and wayne tower, both built on the sets of leavenden studios, were two sets that make a production designer wake up at night in a cold sweat.” James Chinlund laughs.
“those two sets have been executed so beautifully by so many in the past, how could we create something new that fans haven’t seen before?
“matt [reeves] and I agreed that all we could do was deliver something that felt true and real to our story.”
what prompted chinlund’s design for batman’s house and possessions was the particular do-it-yourself nature of bruce wayne’s mindset in the film.
“the look of the wayne tower, the look of the batcave and the look of the batmobile reflect that you couldn’t care less about your wealth and the wayne industries.”
london was another location used for batman.
james chinlund used saint martins central college of art and design in london to function as the command center for the gotham city police department, as well as the morgue, one of chinlund’s favorite sets.
“The architecture and patina of this building lent itself so well to sinking into the bowels of the understaffed and underfunded gotham city hospital.”
3. cardington studios, bedfordshire
Other major sets included Gotham City Hall, the interior of which was built at Cardington Studios near Bedford.
the grade i listed neoclassical hall of st george in liverpool doubled for the exterior.
The set had to be adapted to real stunts, where a car drives through the gates and up the central staircase. you can see that clip in the bat and cat trailer.
The former aircraft hangar in Cardington’s previous film credits include Christian Bale’s Batman Trilogy: Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.
the rooftop of the gotham city police department combines elements of the famous liver building in liverpool and the chicago board of trade building.
For the sequence where batman wears his wingsuit, wide aerial shots of batman standing on the parapet in liverpool were filmed.
Then they were heavily modified in post production to increase the height of the building and replace the liverpool waterfront with gotham city.
however, the shot of batman jumping off the building was filmed on a partial set in leavesden, with a camera strapped to the back of a stunt performer on wires.
The stuntman only had eight feet of travel before he hit the back of the set, so the shot switched to a digital gcpd building and batman as the wingsuit inflated and began to fly.
For the look of the film, Reeves wanted to create a world that was both plausible and unrecognizable.
“We didn’t want times square to replace gotham square,” he says, “so we added skyscrapers and an elevated train to the gothic architecture of wellington square in liverpool, with the idea that you look at it and think, ‘where is that?’
“one of the characters in the film is gotham and since the crimes allude to the history of corruption in gotham, the idea of the presence of that place as a character was critical.”
st george’s hall in liverpool was duplicated for the exterior of gotham’s town hall.
5. chicago, united states
Batman’s descent through the urban canyon was based heavily on Lasalle Street in Chicago, where the production shot extensive footage from a drone.
“However, the drone did not have the correct flight dynamics and could not fly fast enough to realistically recreate wingsuit flight,” says visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon.
“so the visual effects team used the chicago footage as a springboard to create a grittier gothic street in cg that they could then race down with more appropriate flight dynamics.”
6. lower manhattan, new york
creating gotham’s skyline was tricky.
chinlund says, “we realized it would be beneficial to find a place where we could photograph plaques, which would allow us to judge how light reflects off other buildings.”
“we found a location in lower manhattan that we used to anchor the unfinished skyscraper and then rebuilt the world around it.
“that became a key part of gotham’s three corner bridge area. so,” he smiles, “there’s a part of lower manhattan that was, after all, the core of our city.”
7. glasgow, scotland
The historic Glasgow Necropolis is featured in Batman, and Batman is seen riding his Batcycle through the Victorian graveyard in one of the trailers.
batman visual effects
While locations and studio sets made up a large part of the shoot, visual effects, spearheaded by Dan Lemmon, naturally made a major contribution.
the production of batman used led volume technology to bring much of the locations to life.
lemmon and his team worked for months to get the images of gotham shown on led screens, meaning that much of what he and his team would normally accomplish in post-production was ahead of the movie schedule.
says lemmon: “we weren’t the first to use led volumes, but the extent to which we used them to build the world of gotham and have a volume that wasn’t specifically designed, but literally grew in days and was back up and running in a few days; this was something new, and we made it very flexible, which was also one of the key new things.”