It's been six weeks since the cast and crew of Batman & Robinbegan filming the reported $80 million-plus adventure. Here's what's keeping director Joel Schumacher and his Bat crew busy so far:
Creating the lair of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mr. Freeze. While the chrome-and-steel interior of the villain's frosty hideout is on a Burbank soundstage, the exterior will be nearly 3,000 miles away. The production will journey to Barre, Vt., in January to transform the sheer granite face of the biggest quarry hole in North America into a 200-foot-high ice wall. Schumacher promises ''death-defying stunts'' and adds that the location scout was none other than Vermont senator Patrick Leahy ''a huge fan,'' he notes (Leahy also has a walk-on).
Making Batgirl (Alicia Silverstone) the envy of all the kids in the cave, thanks to her Bat computer. Schumacher reports that Apple has modified ''some prototypes of computers that aren't out yet'' especially for the movie. Apple marketing consultant Lisa Mattioli adds that the prop computer's appeal will be aesthetic: ''It's very cool. It just totally fits the style of [the movie]and everything.'' Schumacher predicts that ''[Apple] is going to get 5 million phone calls from parents saying 'Where do I get this?!?''' (According to Mattioli, some versions will be available after the movie opens.)
Filming a motorcycle race that will make The Wild One look tame. Schumacher says the scene features Honda dirt bikes that have been custom-painted by San Francisco-based painter Prairie Prince. ''It was important for each cycle to have a unique appearance,'' says the director.
Schumacher adds that filming, scheduled to wrap in late January, is going smoothly. So smoothly that this Dark Knight saga could set off some Heidi Fleiss-style headlines. ''We're four days ahead of schedule,'' he boasts. ''In Hollywood that might be scandalous.''