Of all the wildcards out there regarding BATMAN 3 - - the villains, the cast, the plot, et cetera - - possibly the surest bet was that it would return filming to Chicago. According to Batman-on-Film, by way of IESB, location scouting has already begun in the Windy City.
“[They] have been out and about in Chicago’s Financial District,” the site’s anonymous source informs. I can only assume the “they” are the location scouts and that the names have been changed to protect the innocent.
Chicago’s my home town, so this puts a smile on my questionably-serious face without the aide of a butcher knife. Of all the elements I liked so much about BATMAN BEGINS & DARK KNIGHT, I got special enjoyment out of seeing Gotham double for Chicago. To see the Joker’s truck flip on Lasalle street, right in front of the Chicago Board of Trade. To witness Batman perched atop the Sears Tower. To observe that wonderful, gold halogen glow that’s so omnipresent from the street lights at night.
G-Man, Babs and myself - - the Comic Vine friends - - actually discussed this very issue during my guest spot (g-spot, Tony?) on the podcast last Friday. Obviously, the similarities are stronger depending on who’s writing the story, but I’ve always liked to think that Gotham’s an analog for Chicago in the DCU, not Metropolis. Despite what some individuals suggest, I see stronger connections to New York in Superman’s city.
You’ll probably never see Batman eating deep dish pizza or munching on a Chicago-style dog, but there are some strong connections. There’s the Chicago river and the Gotham river. Chicago has a history of memorable, over-the-top super-criminals like Al Capone and Frank Nitti, as does Gotham. And, most visually, many of Gotham’s depictions in the first series of BATMAN movies and the first Animated Series display a lot of Art Deco architecture, which is, of course, a fixture of the Chi.
Who’s with me here, oh cosmopolitan Comic Vine community? Are the similarities I see baseless? Should I be locked away in Arkham Asylum for insanity? Or am I on to something, here? And do you see any more connections yourselves, while we’re at it?
-- Tom Pinchuk is the writer of UNIMAGINABLE for Arcana Comics and HYBRID BASTARDS! for Archaia Comics. Watch out for the HYBRID BASTARDS! hardcover collection this March - - available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.