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When Joel Schumacher[1] took over directing the Batman films from Tim Burton, Barbara Ling handled the production design for both of Schumacher's films (1995's Batman Forever[2][3][4] and 1997's Batman & Robin[5][6][7]). Ling's vision of Gotham City was a luminous and marvelously outlandish evocation of Modern expressionism[8] and Constructivism.[9] Its futuristic-like concepts (to a certain extent, akin to the 1982 film Blade Runner[10]) appeared to be sort of a cross between Manhattan and the "Neo-Tokyo" of Akira. Ling admitted her influences for the Gotham City design came from "neon-ridden Tokyo and the Machine Age. Gotham is like a World's Fair on ecstasy."[11]

Batman Forever was going to be shot in Cincinnati, using the old subway tunnel. The exterior of the Gotham City Hippodrome (the arena where the "Flying Graysons" performed their trapeze act) is based on the exterior of Union Terminal, a famous 1930s Art Deco train station in Cincinnati.[12]

Exterior scenes of Wayne Manor for Batman Forever were filmed at the Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in Long Island, New York. The production team had to change the school's "W" on the entrance gate because it had an anchor behind it.

The exterior set for Two-Face's hide out in Batman Forever was the same set used in the first disappearance of Max Shreck in Batman Returns.

The Arkham Asylum that was seen in Batman Forever was designed as a tall, spiraling castle-like structure, with narrow hallways lined with brightly-lit glass bricks.

During Mr. Freeze’s attempt to freeze Gotham in the film Batman & Robin[13] (1997), the targeting screen for his giant laser locates it somewhere on the New England shoreline, possibly as far north as Maine.

The soundtrack for Batman & Robin featured a song named after the city and sung by R. Kelly.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Gotham City (Schumacher films) - Batman Wiki
  2. Film locations for Batman Forever
  3. Batman Forever - Gotham
  4. In collaboration with production designer Barbara Ling and her crew, Schumacher has kept the series' dark and monumental look (the legacy of Frank Miller's brilliant graphic novel "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns") and, as advertised, lightened the project's overall tone.
  5. Film locations for Batman & Robin
  6. Batman & Robin - Gotham City
  7. Barbara Ling's no-holds-barred production design makes Gotham look more surreal than ever.
  8. ``Batman & Robin's look is luminous and marvelously outlandish throughout. Barbara Ling's production design is outstanding, a stunning evocation of modern Expressionism.
  9. Batman & Robin DVD extras
  10. Departing from former "Batman" director Tim Burton's gothic approach to New York, Schumacher and production designer Barbara Ling compulsively layer the background with a futuristic city design that seems to aim for "Blade Runner" by way of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles".
  11. Barbara Ling, Bigger, Bolder, Brighter: The Production Design of Batman & Robin, 2005, Warner Home Video
  12. Batman Forever (1995) - Trivia
  13. Gotham City's Gothic architecture and counterculture population has been taken to new - and silly - extremes, to the point where it's literally embarrassing to watch.