A CITY waits on a hero – but amidst the excitement about a major new film deal, will Glasgow really become Batman’s new home?

And if he does, will the caped crusader bring the economic muscle that’s been signalled?

Up to 1000 crew jobs per day are promised on a secret Warner Bros project set to shoot in Scotland’s biggest city. Local leaders signed off a £150,000 incentive deal with the US movie giant earlier this week. It’ll see the city become the stage for the entire production of the big-budget film news that’s got cinephiles speculating.

READ MORE: Warner Bros: Jobs boost for Glasgow as entire film to be based in city

While movie crews have become a more familiar sight in Scotland’s biggest city in recent years – crowds gathered to get a glimpse of work on Indiana Jones 5 and The Flash during the summer – the deal marks the first time an entire picture has been made in Glasgow. There’ll be an emphasis on using “locally-based crew and talent”, the council says, predicting a significant economic boost and highlighting British Film Institute figures that show productions with a budget of £60-100million have an average daily spend of more than £750,000. According to these figures, £1m could flow into local coffers each day if the budget is upwards of £100m.

So far Warner Bros hasn’t said anything. But the local authority’s pointed out that the studio’s portfolio includes the DC Universe, a huge range of comic book characters from Superman to Cyborg and Starfire to Wonder Woman. And of course, every inhabitant of Gotham City.

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The Batman franchise has a long association with Scotland through writers like Alan Grant and artists like Frank Quitely. Their 1998 story Batman: Scottish Connection saw Bruce Wayne travel here for a ceremony to inter the names of an ancestor. According to the character’s original co-creator Bob Kane, Gotham’s billionaire was named after Robert the Bruce to tie him to nobility.

Due for release next year, the latest movie instalment The Batman shot some scenes in Glasgow in 2020 and will star Robert Pattinson and Colin Farrell.

MEANWHILE, amongst the future projects slated by Warner Bros are Batman spin-offs Nightwing, Batgirl, Joker 2 and Gotham City Sirens. There’s also Zatanna, Supergirl and Justice League Dark from the DC Universe and Councillor Greg Hepburn, Glasgow City Council’s business manager and self-proclaimed “nerd”, says he’s “really excited” by the possibility of having Batman in Bridgeton.

“I don’t know what the film is,” he insists, “but I have got a strong suspicion and I would certainly love to see Glasgow being Gotham again because I think we really suit it.”

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: Batman on streets of Glasgow filming for Hollywood flick The Flash

Hepburn became hooked on comics via the Dandy and Beano before picking up the harder stuff. “I’m a DC guy, not a Marvel guy,” he says, referencing the making of the Disney-owned Avengers franchise in Edinburgh. Lasting seven weeks, the 2017 Infinity War shoot was the Scotland’s biggest and brought in £16.1m for the economy. “Edinburgh can have those films, give us the rest,” says Hepburn. “It’ll be great for the economy, but also for the sheer geekery.”

Derek Roulston, assistant manager at Forbidden Planet comic shop on Sauchiehall Street, agrees. Despite first appearing to audiences in 1939, Batman remains a major draw for readers and collectors, Roulston says, with many younger fans shopping for older editions to go “straight to the source” of the modern mythology or pick up newer editions to “get ahead” of the films.

And many are into cosplay, dressing up as their favourite characters for conventions and events where Wayne and bat-wielding adversary Harley Quinn are popular choices. “I can anticipate that getting even bigger whenever it starts filming,” he says. “People come into the shop asking us about it as if we are insiders, which unfortunately we are not.”

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ROULSTON says it’s the bat gadgets that get people going, and the fact that the character’s had so many incarnations from the wham kapow of the Adam West series to Bale’s growling brawler. “He’s so versatile, everyone knows who he is,” he says. “It’s not complicated, it’s just a guy dressed up as a bat battering baddies – there’s a lot of fun to it.”

Roulston also hails the local comics scene, which spans everything from the political cartooning of Neil Slorance, illustrator of Dungeon Fun, to the cyberpunk fun of Killtopia, both published by local house BHP Comics. Killtopia is being adapted into an animated series, with recently released images revealing 3d character renderings by LA studio Voltaku. Sha Nazir of BHP is enthusiastic about the Warner Bros news, calling Glasgow “a great location”.

“It has an architecture that resonates many locations and is adaptable to mirror major cities across the world,” he says. “And it comes full circle with Glasgow being a comic book city.”

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Hepburn hopes the varied architecture can provide a location that becomes a fan favourite, following in the newfound popularity of the New York steps that’ve become a set-jetting destination after Joaquin Phoenix danced down them in The Joker. “These are the biggest brands in the world,” he says. The city will get a huge opportunity out of it.

“In the most recent Batman films, Chicago was used as Gotham city. It was modern, it was high-tech, there was business. Gotham was a live, living city. It was exciting, it’s not like the Gotham of old that was dark and misty. I’d be delighted if Glasgow was the new place to come and film.”

It’s been on the cusp before, with major buzz over Brad Pitt’s World War Z in 2013. “Everybody’s best pal’s uncle was an extra,” Hepburn says. “That’s part of the exciting bit about seeing your city on screen.

“Indiana Jones was funny because we were told we couldn’t say anything about it when it was all over social media. These things don’t stay secret for long.”