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Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on July 24, 2008
The new Batman movie may be smashing box-office records in the U.S., but in Hong Kong – where filmmakers did some shooting last year – not everybody’s happy with The Dark Knight. According to the Lai See column of the South China Morning Post (subscription required), one of the city’s big property developers is “disappointed about not getting credited in the movie.”
Maybe that’s because the Batman team didn’t get such a warm welcome during filming last year. When director Christopher Nolan and crew were here in November, they caused a stir after a scene calling for Batman to dive into the harbor got nixed, allegedly because of concerns about pollution. (Nolan did his best not to look like a bad guest by denying the filthy condition of Victoria Harbor had anything to do with the change.) Next, filmmakers asked people in offices near the waterfront to keep their lights on all night, the better to film the city’s famous skyline. That didn’t go over so well. Some people grumbled righteously about wasting electricity and contributing to global warming by leaving the lights on; others complained about the chutzpah of Hollywood folks making this demand but not offering to reimburse locals for the hit to their electric bills. (Hong Kong, by the way, has really high utility charges.)
Now it seems Batman’s filmmakers have had the last laugh. “There have been mutterings that some of our more spectacular buildings, such as the IFC2, were shown for only a few seconds,” writes Lai See columnist Ben Kwok. “One landlord even complained: ‘The movie makes us look stupid security-wise. We are not a major crime city but our security is much better than portrayed in the film.’”
BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.