Batman in Hatfield and Knebworth and more on TV in this week’s films

PUBLISHED: 09:42 31 May 2020 | UPDATED: 10:31 31 May 2020

Batman was filmed at Knebworth House. Picture: Alan Davies

Batman was filmed at Knebworth House. Picture: Alan Davies

Alan Davies

Superheroes, spies and a super nanny feature in films being screened on TV this week that were partly made in Hertfordshire.

Knebworth House gates. Picture: Alan DaviesKnebworth House gates. Picture: Alan Davies

With stunning stately homes such as Knebworth House, Brocket Hall and Hatfield House in the county, it’s no surprise that filmmakers regularly shoot on location in Herts.

The historic houses are frequently used as royal residences for movies and TV series such as Netflix hit The Crown, which has used both Hatfield House and Knebworth House, while the Brocket Hall estate featured in 2006 movie The Queen starring Helen Mirren.

It’s not just cinematic royalty that has called Herts home on screen.

DC Comics and Marvel superheroes have also paid visits to the county, with Hatfield House and Knebworth House putting the goth in Gotham City in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie – both mansions doubled as Wayne Manor.

The Luna Cinema screening of Batman at Knebworth House. Picture: Alan DaviesThe Luna Cinema screening of Batman at Knebworth House. Picture: Alan Davies

That’s just one of the movies shot on location in the county being shown on TV this week.

Here’s six movies featuring scenes made in Hertfordshire you can watch between Sunday, May 31 and Saturday, June 6.

1. Batman Begins

This 2005 reboot of the Batman franchise stars a brooding Christian Bale as billionaire Bruce Wayne / Batman, and Michael Caine as butler Alfred Pennyworth.

While Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman blockbuster filmed scenes in both Knebworth House and Hatfield House, Christopher Nolan’s version used the grounds of the Hatfield House estate this time.

You can see the crime fighting Caped Crusader on movie channel Sky Superhero at 9.45am today – Sunday, May 31.

The Long Gallery at Hatfield House. Picture: Alan Davies.The Long Gallery at Hatfield House. Picture: Alan Davies.

2. Johnny English

This 007 spoof stars Rowan Atkinson as inept spy Johnny English trying to thwart John Malkovich’s French baddie, Pascal Sauvage.

Sauvage’s coronation scene was filmed inside St Albans Cathedral.

The movie can be seen on film channel Sky Comedy at 10.55am and 5.45pm today – Sunday, May 31.

3. Johnny English Reborn

If you’ve sat through the first Johnny English comedy you might as well watch the 2011 sequel.

The movie saw Atkinson’s bungling agent return to the county for a round of golf at Brocket Hall. You can watch Johnny English Reborn at 12.35pm and 7.15pm on Sky Comedy, with the third chapter in the series, Johnny English Strikes Again, following straight after at 2.25pm and 9pm.

4. Spider-Man: Far From Home

The webslinger’s European vacation in this 2019 Marvel blockbuster included a visit to the Brocket Hall estate by the production crew.

The movie starring Tom Holland as Peter Parker is being screened on Sky Superhero at 9pm on Thursday, June 4, and again at 5.45pm on Friday, June 5.

5. Nanny McPhee

Emma Thompson wrote and starred in this Mary Poppins-esque family film about a mysterious magical nanny. Scenes from the movie were filmed at Knebworth House.

You can see Nanny McPhee and its 2010 sequel Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang back-to-back on Sky Family at 2.35pm and 4.15pm on Friday, June 5.

6. Batman

Michael Keaton stars as the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman movie.

The exterior of Knebworth House doubled as Wayne Manor in the blockbuster, with Bruce Wayne also having a dinner date with Kim Basinger’s character Vicki Vale in the mansion’s Banqueting Hall.

This same room was also used for the music video of Simple Minds 1985 single (Don’t You) Forget About Me from the soundtrack of The Breakfast Club.

To mark Batman’s 30th anniversary last summer, The Luna Cinema screened Burton’s Caped Crusader classic in front of Knebworth House.

Other interiors of Wayne Manor were filmed down the A1(M) from Knebworth at Hertfordshire stately home Hatfield House.

Scenes between Bruce Wayne and butler Alfred in the book-lined study were shot in Hatfield House’s library, while The Long Gallery was used for the gaming room fundraiser.

The costume room armoury scenes at Wayne Manor with the two-way mirror were filmed in the Marble Hall at Hatfield House.

Stay up late to watch the Dark Knight of Gotham battle Jack Nicholson’s maniacal Joker at 12.10am on Saturday, June 6 on Sky Superhero movie channel.


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