Filming has been taking place in Liverpool this week for the new Batman movie due out next year, despite many businesses in the northern English city having to close due to strict social distancing measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, stars Robert Pattinson as the comic book hero and is set to be released in June 2021 by Warner Bros. Zoe Kravitz also stars as Catwoman, Andy Serkis as Alfred Pennyworth and Jeffrey Wright as Gotham City's police chief Commissioner Gordon. Colin Farrell, barely recognisable, is playing the Penguin comic book villain.
Filming has taken place around St George’s Hall in the centre of the city, including the passageway, which leads from William Brown Street down into the cells underneath the hall.
But photos reveal a lack of social distancing measures during the filming and not many people wearing masks. Warner Bros has not responded to a request for comment.
It comes at a difficult time for the city’s residents. Liverpool was announced as the first city to enter ‘Very high risk’ or Tier 3 restrictions – the highest alert classification – by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday.
Many of its pubs, bars and gyms have had to close in response to the strict new measures.
The city recorded 600 cases for every 100,000 people in the week to October 6. The average for English towns and cities was 74.
However, filmmakers reportedly are employing a police officer known as "Covid Dan" to make sure everyone abides to the rules and restrictions.
Director Philippe Martinez insisted that his crew, were being “very stringent” during filming.
"If you're part of our bubble, our crew, our cast, the first thing you do before coming on to set or on any of our locations is you're temperature tested, you put a new mask on,” he told Sky News.
A Liverpool City Council spokesperson told The National that the new Covid restrictions didn't impact filming in the city.
“The Film Office is working closely with every single production to ensure Covid-safe measures are in place and are being adhered to in accordance with rigorous industry protocols," the spokesperson added.
Production of The Batman began in Glasgow this year, but that was paused because of the pandemic.