The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Christopher Nolan's blockbuster Batman trilogy, will be a truly global affair. So far, the film is confirmed to be shooting in Pittsburgh, which will likely replace Chicago as a stand-in for Gotham City, as well as Jodphur, India.
When we first reported the India shooting location, we debated whether or not it gave more credibility to the rumor that Marion Cotillard's character, Miranda Tate, will actually be Talia al Ghul. Factor in the news that Josh Pence has been cast as a young Ra's al Ghul, and it seems likely that at least some of the filming in India will revolve around the League of Shadows, which would tie the series back to Batman Begins.
But how much time will Nolan and company actually be on set in India, and what will they be filming? Now, thanks to a new report, we have a better idea.
According to The Times of India (via ComingSoon), The Dark Knight Rises will only be filming in Jodhpur for two days - with a relatively small crew of "around 15 people." Of the major actors in the film, only Christian Bale will fly to India for filming.
Here's the direct quotes from the article:
Nolan had come down to India in December to scout for locations in Jodhpur. That was when he chose to shoot in Jodhpur's Mehrangar Fort. The main crew will start arriving from May 1. Christian Bale is expected to arrive in India on May 4 or May 5. Though permissions have been sought for shooting the film for the whole of May, the unit will shoot in India for only two days – May 6 and May 7.
Incidentally, hotels in Jaipur and Jodhpur have been booked for the crew. Says a source, "Nolan had scouted locations in both Jodhpur and Jaipur. But, he fell in love with Jodhpur and decided to return to film here. They are coming with a very small unit of around 15 people and will be shooting here for two days. There are no Bollywood actors being cast in the movie. But, local actors and crew members might be roped in. The unit wants to use the beautiful fort as the background for the movie. However, nothing is known yet whether Jodhpur will feature as an Indian city in the movie or not."
Does that mean that the Indian backdrop won't play host to either al Ghul? Not necessarily. There are a few possible reasons why they are only filming with Christian Bale. The scene may be a possible flashback in Bruce Wayne's life when he was training to become Batman. Alternatively, it may be a present-day scene, where Bruce goes to India to try and uncover more information about Miranda Tate/Talia al Ghul. In the latter case, it's plausible that there could be some kind of flashback sequence showing a young Ra's al Ghul and his daughter.
Either way, the actual scenes involving the al Ghul clan (if they appear in the film at all), do not necessarily have to be filmed in India, but could easily be managed in a studio. My guess is that Nolan admired the striking architecture of Jodhpur and wanted to incorporate it into the film (as mentioned in the newspaper quote), so he's bringing Bale in for some establishing shots.
One of the reasons I admire Christopher Nolan as a filmmaker is because he makes great use of his locations, which was particularly evident in the globe-spanning blockbuster Inception. So, although the India shoot may only take up 5 to 10 minutes on film, I fully expect it to look great and to add to the narrative in an intelligent way.
What do you think about The Dark Knight Rises only shooting in India for two days? What are your theories for the India scenes?
The Dark Knight Rises hits theaters July 20, 2012.