The bridge between "Batman Begins" and "The Dark Knight"

Made by Batman fans FOR BATMAN FANS!

Several elements served as the inspiration for "THE DARK KNIGHT PROJECT", from witnessing people all over Chicago setting out with video cameras to catch a glimpse of the "DARK KNIGHT" crew shooting during the summer of 2007, to BATMAN ISSUE 584 by Ed Brubaker which was titled on the cover "BATMAN: URBAN MYTH OR REALITY?" and within: "THE DARK KNIGHT PROJECT!" It chronicled the adventures of two teenaged boys interviewing a slew of Batman regulars, from Commissioner Jim Gordon to the Penguin and Two-Face in their quest to determine if Batman was real or an urban legend. Wanting to stay within the continuity of Christopher Nolan's universe, writer director Jerry Vasilatos took the idea of kids wanting to catch Batman on video and spun it into events that could have taken place between "BATMAN BEGINS" and "THE DARK KNIGHT", with Batman emerging as a mysterious new figure that some Gotham citizens believe could be a hoax perpetrated by the police department. In a tip of the hat to another independent film that inspired Brubaker's comic book tale, Vasilatos named his characters "Heather and Mikey" after the teenaged characters in "THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT". Thankfully, this Heather and Mikey survive their documentary filmmaking efforts!

Christopher Nolan and writer David Goyer were inspired by similar comic book moments while penning "BATMAN BEGINS", most notably a passage in Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's "BATMAN: YEAR ONE" where Batman uses a radio frequency to draw bats from all over Gotham to cover his escape from a Gotham Police Department SWAT team!

Aerial Stunt Footage from "The Dark Knight"

The Orleans and Wacker Drive Bridge where Heather (Allyssa O'Donnell) and Mikey (David Sanchez) encounter the Gotham Times News Vendor (George Hroziencik) is the same location used in the end of "Batman Begins" where Batman jumps the Tumbler across the river in his efforts to save Jim Gordon and Rachel Dawes from the fear toxin being spread by Ra's Al Ghul and the Scarecrow. The bridge is the passageway from Midtown Gotham into the Narrows. It was director Jerry Vasilatos's intention that the news vendor in "The DARK KNIGHT PROJECT" really WAS in the middle of the action at the end of "BATMAN BEGINS", and could very well have seen the same fleeting image of Batman hanging on for dear life to the monorail that Police Commissioner Loeb also witnessed!

Aerial Stunt Footage from "The Dark Knight"

Camera footage of the unfolding Midtown Avenue crisis was taken by Laura Felker and Enders Walker during the shooting of "THE DARK KNIGHT" during the summer of 2007 when both were filming behind the scenes footage of the action in Chicago. When director Jerry Vasilatos conceived of setting a story between films and adding authenticity to the production values, he was inspired by the video footage he saw by Laura and Enders on Youtube. Theorizing that their footage could be the "point of view" from Mikey's camera and make it look like Heather and Mikey were in Christopher Nolan's Gotham, Jerry contacted both videographers for permission to use their shots and both agreed.

Aerial Stunt Footage from "The Dark Knight"

The character of Detective Sarah Essen, portrayed by Beatrice Schneider, made her first appearance in Frank Miller and David Mazzuchelli's seminal comic book mini-series, "BATMAN: YEAR ONE". While not visible in Christopher Nolan's films, it was decided to include Sarah as a link to the comic books and to introduce a character that probably is operating in Nolan's universe. Sarah and Jim Gordon eventually married after Gordon's marriage to his wife Barbara fell apart.

For more information on Sarah Essen, visit her Wikipedia entry HERE.

Beatrice Schneider as Sarah Essen

Dagoberto Zolio Soto, also plays a Gotham Police Officer in "THE DARK KNIGHT".

Dagoberto Zolio Soto

The Gotham City Police cruiser seen in "THE DARK KNIGHT PROJECT" was rented from one of the picture car rental companies that also supplied it to Warner Brothers for "THE DARK KNIGHT" on a tip from film fan and eventual crew member Laura Felker. While the outside of the vehicle was picture perfect, the inside was gutted with a roll bar for stunt driving duties it was put through on "THE DARK KNIGHT".

Crew Member and Dark Knight Stalker, Laura Felker

The masks used by the Joker's thugs in the alley scene were licensed Rubies replicas, that thankfully hit the market right before filming for "THE DARK KNIGHT PROJECT" commenced! While the Joker employs a seemingless endless supply of sociopathic thugs to do his bidding, they all wear variations of the frightening clown masks. View more about the conceptualization of the Joker's clown masks designed for Christopher Nolan's "THE DARK KNIGHT" HERE!

Send in the Clowns

The batsuit worn by actor Chris Nendick was sourced by a variety of talented artisans, who all contributed different parts to achieve the overall look of the suit worn by Christian Bale in both "BATMAN BEGINS" and "THE DARK KNIGHT". Chris is also a professional gymnastics instructor, with skills that helped him accomplish the intensive fight scene in the alley at the end of the film. His jump from the rooftop into the alley was achieved by cutting a composited greenscreen rotoscope visual effect against a plate shot of the alley and a landing Chris made by jumping off a dumpster to the ground behind the Joker's clowns!

Send in the Clowns

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