Starring Robert Pattinson and Zoe Kravitz, The Batman is one of Hollywood’s biggest hits so far this year, but the comic book blockbuster has actually opted for the UK for filming in the fictional city. of Gotham.
Cap swirling in the breeze as he gazes out over the wicked, crime-riddled streets of Gotham City, Batman has an imposing figure.
Unsurprisingly given his name, he’s been spending a lot of time on rooftops in the new The Batman movie instead. But not just any rooftops – UK rooftops, in particular a very recognizable Liverpool landmark, the Liver Building.
The caped crusader is also played by Briton Robert Pattinson, 35, but there are plenty of other links to our shores in the hit film.
Our streets, buildings and even our graveyards helped create the magnificent and macabre Gotham City, with Liverpool, Glasgow and London all playing prominent roles in a “Batworld that has never been seen before”.
Decorator James Chinlund says, “We noticed a dilapidated Gothic layer that we just don’t have in the States.
Here we take a look at the best UK bits from The Batman, which is currently playing in UK cinemas…
Hartswood Hospital, Glasgow – Gotham Orphanage
Since this building was originally known as Lanark District Asylum, you’d assume it doubled in the movie as the famous Arkham Asylum, housing all of Batman’s future enemies.
Instead, it was the setting of a building full of complete innocents in the Gotham Orphanage.
Shona Wilson of Lankarshire Screen Locations says: “It was a very well known psychiatric hospital in the area.
“A Victorian Gothic building, very eerie so of course it was perfect for Gotham.”
St George’s Hall, Liverpool – Gotham City Hall/Gotham Bank
This iconic location has been the site of many celebrations for the people of Liverpool, but in The Batman it’s transformed into the dark, gothic heart of Gotham City.
Dubbing both the bank and Gotham City Hall, the filmmakers used different sides of the building to portray the two locations.
And it should feel right at home in crime-town Gotham, as the neoclassical Victorian building opened in 1854 and housed the city’s courthouse.
The journey to create the perfect Gotham City in the UK began when production designer James Chinlund came across Google images of St George’s Hall that left him ‘blown away’.
Photograph by Jason Roberts)
And Liverpool Film Office’s Kevin Smith wasted no time selling the city to filmmakers.
He said: “From the time we were contacted about a potential Batman filming, it was all about building a set of locations that would make Liverpool a financially viable place to film.
“We always talk about the chocolate box moment where we create this chocolate box of options that the movie creatives can choose from. This set was built around St George’s Hall.
And it certainly looks like the part during shots of Robert Pattinson driving past a dented police car as Bruce Wayne.
Central St Martins Art and Design College, London – Gotham City PD Command Center / Gotham Mortuary
Considering its murder rate, one of the most used buildings in Gotham is the morgue.
And Batman probably put a number of bad guys in there while protecting the citizens from more chaos. In real life, the college is home to top talent who could profit from their art.
James Chinlund said of it, “The architecture and patina of this building lent itself so well to descending into the bowels of Gotham City Hospital.”
Wellington Column, Liverpool – Gotham Square
The entire area around Wellington’s Square was used to represent the Gotham equivalent of Times Square, with billboards added later.
Liverpool’s sprawling Victorian architecture provided an appropriate sense of faded grandeur necessary to present the director’s vision of a grim Gotham after its heyday.
Kevin Smith says, “We’ve got all those imperial, hulking architectural filmmakers needed to conjure up Gotham’s glory days.
“Then new elements like skyscrapers were added via CGI.”
Wishart Street, Glasgow–Gotham
Julian Hamilton/Daily Mirror)
The grand entrance to the 37-acre Glasgow Necropolis can be reached by walking over the Bridge of Sighs across Wishart Street, where other scenes from the film’s finale were filmed.
This winding artery connects the cemetery to Glasgow Cathedral.
Jennifer Reynolds says, “There’s a rather picturesque bridge, the Bridge of Sighs, alluding to the sadness of funeral processions – again alluding to the dark, gloomy tone of Gotham.”
Director Matt Reeves adds: “We went to Glasgow and honestly it was so beautiful, I wish we could have shot more there.”
Glasgow residents will see more of their city on the big screen as Batgirl is currently being filmed there.
Necropolis Cemetery, Glasgow – Gotham Cemetery
In pictures via Getty Images)
The new film features Batman on his motorbike driving through Gotham Cemetery, Glasgow’s sprawling necropolis.
Producer Dylan Clark called it a pivotal scene in the film, adding, “The cemetery backdrop is extremely powerful. It was wonderful to be up there.
Based on the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the necropolis opened in 1833 on a hill overlooking the city.
Jennifer Reynolds of Glasgow City Council’s film office says its “atmospheric, gothic nature” makes it an ideal setting for Gotham.
Anfield Cemetery was also used in the scene.
Have a story to sell? Contact us at [email protected] or call us direct on 0207 29 33033.