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Gotham's boys: Steelers play on-field roles in new Batman film

Holy Batman, the Steelers are coming!

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and about 12 of his veteran teammates participated Saturday in the filming of "The Dark Knight Rises," playing football players at Heinz Field, according to the *Pittsburgh Post-Gazette*.

And the Gotham coach? Why it's Bill Cowher, the former Steelers coach who left the team after the 2006 season and is now an analyst for CBS Sports. Kevin Colbert, the Steelers' director of football operations, will reunite with Cowher as a Gotham assistant coach.

The movie, which has been filming in Pittsburgh since July 29, moved to Heinz Field on Saturday morning, where fans were played by thousands of extras. The players returned to practice Saturday afternoon.

Roethlisberger is friends with Thomas Tull, the film's executive producer who joined the Steelers' ownership in 2009. Tull advocated Pittsburgh as a location and the Steelers' involvement in the third installment of the "Batman" trilogy, which is being directed by Christopher Nolan. Christian Bale returns as Batman and Anne Hathaway plays Catwoman.

"It's not like we're chasing Batman down or anything," Roethlisberger told the Post-Gazette. "It's something neat -- that in 10 years or 20 years we can tell our kids we were in a movie. Thomas does movies big, and I'm sure it will be a big-time movie and something fun to be part of."

Those joining Roethlisberger included Hines Ward, Willie Colon, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Wallace, Heath Miller, Aaron Smith, Ryan Clark, Troy Polamalu, James Farrior and Casey Hampton.

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