Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Dark Knight Rises" to be filmed in... Detroit?

Many people believe that Batman Begins and The Dark Knight represent two of the finest superhero movies ever made. Both were beautifully shot in the architecturally stunning city of Chicago, a magnificent stand-in for Gotham City where the Batman universe is set.
Detroit is No Man's Land

Christopher Nolan's vision of Gotham City has been a metropolis inhabited by a surprising number of white people. Very few Black people have been seen (save the prisoner who selflessly tossed the detonator into the river in The Dark Knight) in Nolan's Gotham City, perhaps because, like in the real world, massive segregation exists.

Our problem with vigilante style movies is that the bad guys are always white guys, because a movie that showed a white hero fighting Black crime would be way to realistic and obviously racist. People enjoy escapism, and they enjoy taking a reprieve from the real-world of continous Black crime and immersing themselves in fictional world where all crime is committed by sharply dressed white people.

Perhaps things are about to change.

News has now come out that Nolan's third Batman film, Dark Knight Rising, will be filmed not in Chicago but Detroit:

According to Reel Chicago, The Dark Knight Rises will not follow Batman Begins and The Dark Knight buy shooting in Chicago. Here is what they had to say…

"Detroit won out over Chicago as a location for writer/director Christopher Nolan's latest Batman entry, The Dark Knight Rises. Instead of shooting here, as originally announced, the movie will film in Detroit. Starting in May, it also will shoot in New Orleans, and two locations in the UK."

Michigan has become a popular location to shoot recently, due to enticing tax incentives for filmmakers. Recently Tranformers: The Dark of the Moon, Scream 4, Real Steel and A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas have all filmed there. The Dark Knight Rises may also shoot in Los Angeles and New York, but some shooting in Chicago has not been ruled out.
Chicago is a city with a population that is roughly 33 percent white and has a thriving economy compared to Detroit, a city without a major grocery store. Detroit has a population that is 90 percent Black, so one wonders what the title Dark Knight Rising actually means.

The fictional world of Nolan's version of Batman have been breathtaking to look at, from the CGI of Batman Begins to the gripping cinematography in The Dark Knight that showcased the vitality of Chicago. The same can't be said of Detroit, a city at war with itself as Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre showed in their depressing photo essay Detroit in Ruins.

Saving a buck in the economic downturn is one thing; trying to film a movie in a city where the Pontiac Silverdome sold for a few pennies above $500,000 is another.

Perhaps the third Batman will take the storyline from No Man's Land, a Batman story arc telling the story of a massive earthquake devastating Gotham. It's obvious that Detroit represents a city that would need little CGI to showcase that devastation.

As we have learned with Hurricane Katrina, the No Man's Land story makes sense in Detroit, since explaining where all the white people in Gotham went wouldn't be necessary.

One hopes Christian Bale remembers some of his earlier roles in dealing with the cities inhabitants.

Detroit is truly No Man's land and it is our hope that The Dark Knight Rises uses this storyline to help explain the move from stormy, husky, brawling intimidating Chicago to gloomy, destitute Detroit.

Perhaps Nolan is trying to set a dramatic example for us by filming in Detroit, for we know that is all that will shake people from their apathy.


Anonymous said...

"Got some coon in my eye". Priceless!

Anonymous said...

There was a time when vigilante movies actually had a surprising number of blacks and Hispanics among the criminals. That was the 1970s. By the time the 80s arrived, the criminals started being portrayed as evenly multicultural -- one black, one Hispanic, one Oriental, one white, etc. That was the beginning of the end.

Anonymous said...

Detroit? I don't know. A little paint, some flowers, a couple of throw pillows...


Anonymous said...

You know who would make a great Batman? Denzel Washington. If Christopher Nolan had any legitimate vision, he would have cast Washington.

The Engineer

Anonymous said...

One of the last thing said in the cbc documentary struck me as funny. They said the city of Detroit is considering switching to a green economy. Does that mean doing without modern things like cars and electricity or just getting another source of government subsidies. I can see it now, all the failing black run cities can get even more federal money under the radar by going green. Lol.

D J said...

@ Mencken: darn it, I wish I had been warned. I about had a soaked monitor and keyboard!

On a more serious note: I have viewed the pictures of what has happened to Detroit, and it almost brings me to tears. One wonders if there are any cities left in the US that are as good as they were fifty years ago.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of which, today is the first day of the Detroit Auto show. We'll see how this plays out, but I think the irony will be that because of the credit environment, the vast majority of people in Detroit won't be able to purchase the cars produced in their own city. Say what you will about BRA, but it doesn't have the power to inflate a 550 FICO score.

Jeff Davis said...

Detroit might not be appropriate for Batman, but it would be a great setting for The Walking Dead or any other zombie production. I think I saw some zombies sauntering down the street in the video. Maybe I can suggest this to the makers of the show and get a finder's fee.

Anonymous said...

FICO scores are racist.

Warlord1958 said...

What a marvelous job they've done with it in the forty four years since the riot. My folks moved my brothers and I way out to the boonies in '68. Anyone could see the writing on the wall then. Sadly, the same boonies are now yet another multi-culti wasteland were the DWL's spend all their time smooching third world backside. Where do you draw the line and say "Enough!" ?