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'Dark Knight' Snubs Hong Kong?

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.’”

Reader Comments

Garrett Shirey

July 24, 2008 9:53 AM

Let's face it, now more than ever, films are ways to advertise and if Hong Kong didn't see the sequel to Batman Begins as a way to showcase their city, then that is their own fault and I don't think anyone came away from The Dark Knight thinking, "gahlee, i didn't realize crime was so bad in Hong Kong!" Sounds like a lot of whining to me.


July 24, 2008 11:56 AM

What kind of jackasz would try to defend the security of his city based on its portrayal in a comic book movie?


July 24, 2008 12:12 PM

".. our security is much better than portrayed in the film."

But is it good enough to stop the Batman?


July 24, 2008 1:05 PM

“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.’”

So some guy is worried how a FICTIONAL movie, partially filmed in, but not set in Hong Kong makes the city look regarding security? Wow! It's amazing what people get into their heads sometimes.

Michael Lin

July 24, 2008 1:24 PM

It's just a movie - of course anywhere Batman goes he's going to break in to high security building regardless if it is in Hong Kong, New York City, or Chicago. It sounds like Hong Kong has no right to be bitter since they didn't even cooperate with filmmakers in helping making their own city look spectacular. Get over it.


July 24, 2008 5:00 PM

The movie actually makes Hong Kong look beautiful at night, and it looks like an attractive place to visit.

I would not take concerns seriously that the movie makes the security of Hong Kong look bad. The security in the movie is bad, but audiences can separate that fiction from the fact. That would be like saying that Hong Kong CEOs are afraid of Batman coming to abduct them after watching the movie.

Ernie Pena

July 24, 2008 5:12 PM

I have been to Hong Kong, and it is indeed a spectacular city,when they had the oppurtunity they should have shown more of Hong Kong,so The world can see how beautiful Hong Kong really is. Also I think that Victoria Harbor is very beautiful and would give credit to any film..Hong Kong is a very up to date city and on the cutting edge of technology..Hong Kong is so far advanced.I have family In Hong Kong...


July 24, 2008 10:39 PM

Get real Honkies, Batman is a sci-fi movie, not a documentary about your lame life.

Hong Konger A

July 26, 2008 11:00 AM

I think most of the Hong Kong people welcome the batman team, including the HK Tourism Board. Just some kinds of extreme people criticize this criticize that. I hope more International movie makers and stars come to Hong Kong in the future.

But to be honest, the HK skyline appeared to be darker than it should be in the movie. Also it should not be shown for such a few seconds in the movie.


July 28, 2008 4:01 PM

No security force on the planet can stop The Bat Man.

Hong Kong, did you see what he did to Gotham's SWAT team at the end of the film? Do you have a way to counteract cell-phone-sonar? Hmm? Didn't think so.

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