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Old 02-23-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default Pittsburgh Could Lose 'Dark Knight,' Other Films Without Tax Credits

Pittsburgh Could Lose 'Dark Knight,' Other Films Without Tax Credits
Freeze On State's Film Tax Credit Program Could Cause 'Batman' Sequel To Look Elsewhere
POSTED: 8:30 pm EST February 17, 2011
UPDATED: 7:30 am EST February 18, 2011

PITTSBURGH -- The Dark Knight's chances of rising in Pittsburgh could be put on ice, and this time it has nothing to do with Mr. Freeze.

A freeze on remaining funds in Pennsylvania's Film Tax Credit Program could cause the state -- and Pittsburgh -- to lose as many as five feature films, including the highly-anticipated Batman sequel, "The Dark Knight Rises."

The tax credit program has currently been put on hold until the state budget is passed next month, which means the city, and the state, could lose out on big business.

"We believe that the new administration in Harrisburg, they understand the economics of all of that. Now is not the time to get out of the movie business, so to speak," said Pittsburgh Film Office Chairman Russ Streiner.

Streiner said applications can be filed up to 90 days prior to principal photography.

Pittsburgh-based Nancy Mosser Casting sent an e-mail to WTAE Channel 4 Action News Thursday night encouraging residents to contact local lawmakers and Pa. Gov. Tom Corbett to keep the productions from leaving.

"The producers of Batman and 2 other movies have all said if the money is not released they WILL go elsewhere and Pittsburgh will lose an astronomical amount of money," read a statement on the casting agency's website.

Walden Media, which has also been eying Pittsburgh for an unspecified movie, said it will leave town if the money isn't released in the upcoming days, according to a letter posted online by Pittsburgh's IATSE Studio Mechanics, Local #489.

On Monday, reports surfaced that director Christopher Nolan would film a large portion of his third Batman installment in Pittsburgh during the summer.

Film productions had been receiving a 25 percent credit for spending at least 60 percent of their production budget in the state, which is the amount "The Dark Knight Rises" has been rumored to film in Pittsburgh.

"If Batman films here, that's really cool. It's great for our film community and our economy. Those budgets on those films are huge and that means a lot of us will be working," said makeup artist Patty Bell.

Warner Bros. has yet to formally announce any locations for "The Dark Knight Rises," but the film is scheduled to begin shooting in May.

The sequel to 2008's "The Dark Knight" returns Oscar nominee Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne/Batman, along with Michael Caine, Gary Oldman and Morgan Freeman in what is expected to be Nolan's last trip to Gotham.

Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy will also be joining the cast as Selina Kyle/Catwoman and Bane.

Marion Cotillard and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who starred in Nolan's 2010 blockbuster, "Inception," have also been rumored to be heading to Gotham.

"The Dark Knight Rises" will be released in theaters on July 20, 2012.

Related: Pittsburgh Movie History Highlights
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