An extra working on the New York set of The Dark Knight Rises died of natural causes in November, Warner Bros. studio and the Screen Actors Guild confirmed to The New York Post on Friday.
The male, who remains unidentified, died from a heart attack prior to the filming of a scene. He was discovered unconscious and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
It was during a period when the film was shooting a huge sequence with several hundred extras in the Wall Street area. But the male extra had been rehearsing in another location away from the set. While on a break, he'd walked away and died of natural causes, a source revealed to the Post.
A Warner Bros. rep and SAG spokeswoman Pamela Greenwalt echoed the same details of the extra's death.
We are aware of the death of a background actor during production of this picture and have been told that the actor died of a heart attack. The actor in question was not working under a contract, Greenwalt told the Post.
For two weekends in November, director Christopher Nolan, Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway and the Dark Knight Rises crew filmed key scenes in New York's financial district, just blocks from the Occupy Wall street movement at Zuccotti Park. Like the film's other shooting locations in Pittsburgh and Los Angeles over the summer, the New York set received plenty of attention from fans and locals, who leaked photos and videos of the cast and crew at work.
In anticipation of the film's July 2012 opening, Warner Bros. and IMAX will be releasing an 8-minute prologue in select theaters starting Dec. 16. The prologue, which was screened to a small group of critics on Thursday, will play prior to showings of Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, starring Tom Cruise.
The Dark Knight Rises is the final chapter in Nolan's Batman trilogy. In 2005, Batman Begins grossed more than $372 million at the box office worldwide, while its sequel, The Dark Knight, grossed $1 billion.
The death of the extra from The Dark Knight Rises set is a gloomy reminder of the death of Heath Ledger, who starred in The Dark Knight and was found dead in his New York apartment in January 2008, months after the film had wrapped.
Ledger, who was 28 years old, died of an accidental combination of prescription drugs that included oxycodone (for pain) and alprazolam (for anxiety). His portrayal of The Joker earned Ledger the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in February 2009..
According to the Post, Nolan, Bale and other principal cast members of The Dark Knight Rises were not present at the time of the extra's death in November.
The Dark Knight Rises arrives in theaters on July 20, 2012.