It all began back in May when auditions for paid extras were held at Capital FM Arena in Nottingham for what was rumoured to be a 'major Hollywood movie' as reported at the time by Nottingham Confidential here. Then on June 6 local television reports confirmed that the new Batman movie to be called "The Dark Knight Rises" would be filmed at Wollaton Hall which would double as Wayne Manor and the hall and park would be closed off to the public from from the 25 June to the 2nd July 2011.
As the crew began to arrive bringing their vehicles and equipment to Wollaton, news and information begin to trickle out onto the internet including photos of the graveyard set, the school bus, the Lamborghini Aventador car, amusing footage of a Batman crew truck accidentally crashing into the Wollaton Hall entrance wall and footage of Christian Bale and Anne Hathaway on the steps of the Hall itself.
Now we're into our second week of Batman at Wollaton and rumours and japes abound. Shocking pink 'Ha-Ha' clues have been fastened to lampposts in Wollaton and the rumours of gurkhas patrolling the grounds at night as security haven't deterred several local good-natured jump-over-the-wall attempts which have all proved short-lived and have been quickly chased away.
Nottingham hotel guests have been blown away to find themselves coming across the likes of Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Matthew Modine strolling around the hotel foyer. "I came down to breakfast and Morgan Freeman was there and he said hello to me," one hotel guest is reported to have said, "he enjoyed having an Amaretto coffee and asked for extra liqueur", whilst another guest was shocked to find themselves sharing a jacuzzi with Lost star Nestor Carbonell.
Meanwhile dozens of Nottingham children have been recruited to take part in the film.The production team have been reported to very much have wanted people from Nottingham to appear in the film and the adult extras are believed to be being paid £120 a day for their work with some night time scenes continuing to film until 3am. "The crew is excellent," said one source, "they're really friendly, very nice to the SA (Supporting Artists). It's freezing because we're filming outside but they're giving us blankets and looking after us. They're good to us, everyone's enjoying it, there are so many first-time extras and they're just brilliant."
Confidentially, we still can't believe we have such massive British and Hollywood movie stars filming right here in Nottingham. Not only is it thrilling that Batman is actually being filmed here but it has also created such a buzz in the city, with film fans excitedly watching all the comings and goings around Wollaton, hugely enjoying all the fun and swopping and sharing all the rumours and the gossip. So it's a big thumbs up to everyone at the Batman set, good luck with the rest of the film and come back to Nottingham any time and hey Batman, maybe next time you could really go back to your roots and do some filming in Gotham.
This article is brought to you via Nottingham Confidential's Lovely Network of Spies with additional reporting by Tracy Mars. All celeb photos property of Nottingham Confidential, so no nicking!
***UPDATE 3 July 2011*** You can go ghost hunting this Hallowe'en at Wollaton Hall see full article here