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Ranking the Gotham Cities in Live Action Film/TV


We rank ALL the Gotham Cities in live action, both film and TV, from The Batman (1943) to…The Batman (2022)! Plus, discover the origins of the name Gotham (for both New York City and Batman comics) and check out the more obscure Gotham Cities from Onstar and Turkish Airlines commercials!


CHAPTERS


0:00 Introduction


1:04 The Origin of the Name Gotham City


The scan of the newspaper with the Gotham Jewelers advertisement comes from here: https://www.noblemania.com/2014/05/bill-finger-michael-uslan-and.html


9:57 The Batman (1943)

Production Designer: Unknown

Locations: Chatsworth, CA


13:08 Batman and Robin (1949)

Production Designer: Unknown

Locations: Chatsworth, CA


17:57 Batman (1966)

Locations: Los Angeles, CA, but with footage of New York City in the background of the Batmobile's driving


We ranked the Gotham City of BOTH the TV series and the 1966 film together in one.


21:21 Batman 1989

Production Designer: Anton Furst (with concept art by Nigel Phelps and set decoration by Peter Young)

Locations: Pinewood Studios, England, plus several buildings around London were used for both interior and exterior shots.


We covered more about the designs of this Gotham City in our concept art episode:


25:20 Batman Returns

Since Batman Returns was shot on a different set with a different production designer, we ranked this Gotham separately from the one from 1989.


Production Designer: Bo Welch

Locations: Burbank, CA


We covered the concept art for this Gotham here:


The observation of the Giants of Finance building influencing Batman Returns and Batman Forever comes from this tweet:

https://twitter.com/JulioStrigoi77/status/1521719235138912257


30:25 Batman Forever/Batman & Robin

Since both Schumacher films had Gotham City designed by Barbara Ling, we grouped them into one category for the ranking.

Production Designer: Barbara Ling

Locations:

Los Angeles, California

Most ‘Gotham City’-scapes were shot in New York for Batman Forever

Exchange Place, which is a side street in the Wall Street area, was selected for the Batmobile location shots for the narrowness and canyon-like qualities, according to the Batman Forever Magazine, which can be read here: https://www.1995batman.com/2020/06/magazine-article-batman-forever_30.html

Most of Gotham in Batman & Robin was in Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California.


We covered the concept art for the Schumacher films here:


34:25 Break

Check out our link for Barkbox here.


39:36 Onstar Batman

Production Designer: Jim Millis

You can check out a few of the Onstar commercials featuring Gotham City here:




You can check out our coverage and reaction to the Onstar commercials in our $10 Patreon episode on Batman commercials here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/55434941


44:15 Birds of Prey (2001-2002)

Production Designer: Michael Helmy and Jaymes Hinkle


49:10 The Dark Knight Trilogy

Since all three films were production designed by Nathan Crowley, we grouped these in the same category.

Production Designer: Nathan Crowley with Kevin Kavanaugh collaborating on The Dark Knight Rises.

Locations:


Batman Begins:

Locations: Chicago, London, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Essex

According to the Art of Batman Begins, Tokyo was a design influence, along with the geography and iconography of New York. Nolan described that “Our Gotham City is New York on steroids.”

Crowley said “Our Gotham was about commerce, not industry. Modern cities are commercial and not industrial. Gotham is a place of decay but we didn’t want to see smokestacks. We wanted the chaos of a city that has naturally grown to limits confined by water. We took New York as a footprint and imagined it in a chaotic state.”

The most notable part of Gotham in the film is the Narrows, made famous by this, and influenced by Kowloon before it was demolished in 1994, as well as Roosevelt Island.


The Dark Knight

Locations: Chicago, Illinois, London, Bedfordshire


The Dark Knight Rises

Locations: Los Angeles California, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania New York, New Jersey


59:26 Gotham

Production Designer: Richard Berg, Daniel Novotny, and Doug Kraner

Locations: Most of the show is filmed either inside Steiner Studios and in several locations around New York but with CG and green screen added onto it to make it look different


1:02:11 SnyderVerse Gotham- Batman V Superman & Zack Snyder's Justice League (also feat. Turkish Airlines commercial, Suicide Squad, & Justice League 2017)


Batman V Superman

Production Designer: Patrick Tatopoulos

Locations: Chicago and Detroit


Check out the Turkish Airlines commercial here:


We mainly graded this based off of what was seen in the Zack Snyder films of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Zack Snyder's Justice League, but the Gothams of the Turkish Airlines commercial, Suicide Squad, and the theatrical cut of Justice League all seem to fit the same Gotham.


Suicide Squad

Production Designer: Sean Haworth and Oliver Scholl

Location: Ontario, Canada


Justice League (2017) and Zack Snyder's Justice League

Production Designer: Patrick Tatopoulos

Location: Chicago


1:08:37 ArrowVerse Gotham- Elseworlds Crossover & Batwoman

We grouped these in the same category since they were meant to be the same world. However, the Elseworlds version had a different team.


Elseworlds

Production Designer: Richard Hudolin

Locations: Chicago


If we were to rank the Elseworlds Gotham alone, it would likely get a D or an F.


The regular Batwoman show had a different team.

Production Designer: Ian D. Thomas and Lisa Soper.

Locations: Chicago and Vancouver


1:13:37 Joker

Production Designer: Mark Friedberg

Locations: New York City and Newark, New Jersey.


1:17:31 Crisis on Infinite Earths- Earths 89, 66, and 203

Production Designer: Tyler Harron (Earth 89 & 66), Jenny Wilson (Earth 203)

Locations: Vancouver


1:19:15 Birds of Prey (2020)

Production Designer: K.K. Barrett

Locations: Los Angeles, CA


1:23:08 Titans- Season 1 Finale & Season 3

Production Designer: Ingrid Jurek, Ian Brock, and John Dondertman

Locations: Ontario, Canada


We mainly ranked the Season 3 Gotham since we saw more of it, but as stated in the episode, we


1:28:42 The Batman (2022)

Production Designer: James Chinlund

Locations: England, Scotland, Chicago


Here's our final rankings:


1:35:48 Fan Comments


1:41:27 Closing: Fan Shout outs and Social Media Promotion

Big thanks to our research assistant Dan Yamat for providing the visuals for this YouTube experience, as well as the YouTube thumbnail, QC, and chapter time codes.


Dan also provided the research on the different production designers and filming locations for this episode.

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