by: Carly Noel Updated:
PITTSBURGH - A private screening for “The Dark Knight Rises” was held at the Byham Theater in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
Thomas Tull, an executive producer of “The Dark Knight Rises” and chairman and CEO of Legendary Pictures, hosted the screening.
“This is a big deal. My wife and I love the city. This is a pretty special occasion,” said Tull.
Some Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl are in filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s conclusion of the “Batman” trilogy. You may have seen Hines Ward running down an exploding football field in the trailer. I caught up with Ward at the screening and asked him about the scene.
“The funny thing about it was I had earplugs in. People say I’m always laughing while running. I was actually screaming,” said Ward.
Tuesday marked Ward’s second time seeing “The Dark Knight Rises.” He was at the world premiere in New York City. Ward told me he loved the film.
“It turned out excellent. I want to thank Thomas for giving me the opportunity to be part of my first movie,” said Ward.
Ward’s son and former teammates were at the Pittsburgh screening to support his big-screen debut.
“I’m a huge Batman, DC Comics and Marvel Comics fan,” said Pittsburgh Steeler Max Starks.
You may spot Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the football scene with Ward.
“We were excited when they got to do it last year. We’ve been waiting the whole year to see them,” said Pittsburgh Steeler Greg Warren.
Former Pittsburgh Steeler and NFL star Jerome Bettis was also at the screening. He told me he asked to be part of the film.
“My schedule didn’t allow me to do it. It was one of those moments where you try to do everything possible because who doesn’t want to be in a Batman film? I’m so happy for the guys who are in it,” said Bettis.
Nancy Mosser of Nancy Mosser Casting said three local actors have speaking roles in the “Dark Knight Rises.” Patrick Jordan is one of them.
“My mother is losing her mind right now that she’s not here right now. Hopefully they don’t cut me out of it,” said Jordan.
Predictions are already being made before Friday’s theater release that the “Dark Knight Rises” could be an Oscar winner.
“Absolutely! The other two won Oscars. Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented directors in the world. We would love to have a best picture,” said Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer.
“The Dark Knight Rises,” starring Christian Bale, was filmed in Pittsburgh last summer. Thousands of local extras will appear in the film with the Pittsburgh Steelers and mayor.
“If they can film Batman here, they can film anything here. We’re slowly but surely becoming the Hollywood of the east,” said Ravenstahl.