NEW YORK — As surely as a tree grows in Brooklyn, a "Bonfire" burns in the Bronx.
Workers at the Bronx County criminal courthouse may glimpse Tom Hanks, Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Melanie Griffith and other celebrities as their environs get filmed for the celluloid version of "Bonfire of the Vanities."
The actors already have shot some Manhattan exteriors for the film based on Tom Wolfe's best-selling novel, but filming will go into high gear when it moves to the Bronx on Monday. Warner Bros. received a special three-day permit to film key scenes at the neo-Grecian limestone courthouse.
The courthouse and its denizens play a prominent role in the book, Wolfe's sardonic depiction of the lowlifes of New York high society and the worms in the Big Apple's judicial system. Hanks plays the lead role of Sherman McCoy, the Wall Street hotshot ground up and spat out by the New York legal system.
To add "realism," the film crew will plaster one wall of the spotless nine-story, three-block-long building with phony graffiti.