It’s been a good summer in Pittsburgh so far with the surprising Pirates still in contention for the playoffs in August and Christopher Nolan bringing The Dark Knight Rises to the Steel City. Spoiler Alert—The scenes shot in Pittsburgh apparently involve a mass breakout from Blackgate Prison engineered by Tom Hardy’s Bane, who is shown in full costume, which includes not only his traditional mask, but also a heavy sheepskin-lined coat.
The crew was blowing soap flakes around to simulate a blizzard, but the actors (and Bane in particular) must have been sweltering in the 90 degree heat and high humidity. Clearly acting in a major production produced under conditions like this is no job for wimps. Hardy was photographed standing atop one of three camouflaged “Batmobile” tumblers reading some sort of manifesto—and he had to stand there for quite some time sweltering in the full summer sunlight.
Marion Cottilard was also photographed climbing over a tumbler, and Christian Bale’s Batman and Hardy’s Bane were shot choreographing a “mano-a-mano” confrontation that appeared to be linked to the prison break. Nolan also shot a massive fight scene, which was likely the result of the big prison breakout. Literally hundreds of police and inmates appeared to be involved in the chaos hammering away at each other while being photographed by DP Wally Pfister and crew who were situated on a giant camera crane.
There is amateur video footage of the massive fight scene, but looking at that kind of crude behind-the-scenes stuff is like watching a documentary on sausage making. It’s somewhat interesting to realize some of the problems that Nolan and his crew will face such as keeping all the summer foliage from appearing in any of the shots, but it’s far better to wait until the master filmmaker chooses the choice bits out of all this chaos and presents us with a coherent narrative.