The latest series of the Batman movie starring Christian Bale as Batman, Heath Ledger as the Joker and Michael Caine as Alfred, the butler, is going east. Filmed in Hong Kong and directed by Christopher Nolan, The Dark Night promises to be exciting with new flicks and cool action in an exotic city.

In fact, the famous harbour city of Hong Kong proves to be a surprising challenge for the cast and filming crew of Batman. It was not language barrier, the weather, the local laws or politics which pose problems to the movie squad. Rather, it was the calm water of the iconic Hong Kong harbour that is an obstacle.

A stunt which requires Batman to drop from a plane into the harbour was cancelled after the water quality was found to pose a health risk. No locals swim in the harbour, so the stuntman or actor who plays Batman will be taking a big risk for jumping into the murky water. Long polluted by residential and industrial waste, the harbour is both an international icon and a source of shame for the locals.

When Batman goes east, he faces environmental problems which are insurmountable. Even superheroes are daunted when it comes to the environmental mess caused by human beings. Where are the NGO’s working for a better global environment? There is nothing like celebrities and Hollywood to create publicity for a cause. Who are the villains? Perhaps Batman can do something after all…