Parts of downtown Chicago have transformed into Gotham City this weekend as film crews have begun shooting exterior scenes of the latest reboot of the Batman saga, titled “The Batman.”
On Thursday and Friday evening, crew members began preparing the Loop near Chicago’s Thompson Center for overnight action sequences involving motorcycles. Gotham City Police Department squad cars could also be seen driving around the Loop while tattered flyers advertising Gotham Music Festival were also visible.
The latest incarnation of the Batman franchise stars Robert Pattinson of Twilight fame in the titular role, as well as big stars like Zoe Kravitz, John Turturro, Peter Sarsgaard, Colin Farrell and Andy Serkis. The film is slated to be released in March 2022 after facing several release delays due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The production of the film also hit a snag after Pattinson was diagnosed with the virus.
Film production crews typically use fake code names for projects in hopes to not attract too much attention, and in this case filming notices posted across downtown Chicago are using the title “Vengeance” rather than The Batman.
The production crew didn’t appear to be too keen on keeping things secret, as evidenced by social media posts thanking the crew members from letting fans snap photos alongside props.
“Shout out to the Chicago crew of THE BATMAN — very kind and patient, let us take pictures and then kindly asked us to keep walking,” said Batman fan and local journalist Jake Hamilton in a tweet. “[They] still allowed us to be fans and were fun about it. There’s no city like Chicago.”
The film has primarily been filmed in London, but Chicago has served as a double for Gotham City in previous films about the Caped Crusader such as Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” (2005) and “The Dark Knight” (2008).
Fans have been eagerly analyzing every image from the production of The Batman to pick up clues about the plot points of the film.
On Friday, Twitter user Yassine shared an image from the movie’s London set that appears to indicate that the film will be connected in some way to the larger “DC Extended Universe” tying the various characters of DC Comics lore to one another. In the photo, an extra can be seen wearing a Superman costume in what appears to be a Hollywood party scene.
However, it remains unclear how The Batman will tie into the larger DC world, which includes such popular characters as Aquaman, Wonder Woman, The Flash and Shazam.
The new film is rumored to focus on Bruce Wayne delving into detective work to track down a serial killer who is running loose in Gotham City. Recurring antagonists of Batman such as Penguin, Catwoman, and Riddler will be among his biggest foes while lesser villains such as the Mad Hatter and Two Face will also play small roles.
It’s also been rumored that another villain could appear in the film, but this detail remains under wraps.
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