New York Comic-Con 2015 is officially underway, so DC and Warner Bros. are attempting to make Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice one of the most discussed projects at the event. Not only is the free Wi-Fi being provided by “LexCorp”, but BvS related items – such as the heroes’ costumes and logos – are highlights over at DC’s booth, and merchandise based on the movie is on display throughout the showroom floor. (Mattel’s booth might even have a spoiler about “desert Batman”.)
Seeing the costumes in person is an exciting experience for any enthusiastic fan, but these designs were revealed quite some time ago, and have been played on display at several conventions and events (including San Diego Comic-Con earlier this year). However, the above video provides new insight into how Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman‘s costumes were created, as well as a look at some concept art.
In the latest episode of DC All Access (which can be viewed above), Michael Wilkinson, Batman v Superman’s costume designer, explained they had “about a year” to create brand new costumes for the cinematic versions of Henry Cavill’s Superman, Ben Affleck’s Batman, and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.
During the interview, Wilkinson discussed his collaboration process with director Zack Snyder, who he says provided a “clear direction about where he wanted to go with these costumes.” Wilkinson expressed that Snyder had a clear objective for each member of DC’s Holy Trinity: Batman should be physically imposing, Wonder Woman should be powerful yet elegant, and Superman should feel extraterrestrial.
Many fans have already noticed some of the differences between Cavill’s Dawn of Justice costume and his Man of Steel costume. For the upcoming movie, the costume designer said they had an emphasis on creating textures that “feel like they’re not from Earth.” Aside from alterations to the belt – a change many people have already noticed – there’s also Kryptonian script on the costume. It wasn’t revealed what the exact translation is, but Wilkinson pointed out it deals with “power and the responsibility that comes with power.” It’s safe to assume the line is not “With great power there must also come — great responsibility” but it’s probably something conveying the same message.
Affleck’s Batman draws a lot of inspiration from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns – everything from the formidable build to the logo is inspired by the iconic limited series. While plenty of fans knew that right when the first image of Affleck in costume was released, Wilkinson provided more details about what Snyder really wanted for his new incarnation of the popular hero. According to the costume designer, the most important thing was to make sure Batman comes across as a “really hulking, big guy.” He went on to say that this version of Batman doesn’t find his strength through his assorted gadgets and technology, but instead through his own physicality. (That’s not to say Batman isn’t tech savvy though, since he is seen with equipment and custom vehicles in the BvS SDCC ’14 trailer.) He was also described as being “like a tower of muscle.” They were especially proud of creating a cowl that gave Affleck a full range of movement – a feature Michael Keaton didn’t have when he portrayed Batman in the 1989 movie.
The debut of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman was without question one of the biggest surprises to come out of San Diego Comic-Con 2014. Even though she appeared in the latest BvS trailer and her origin story was revealed, much of the heroine still remains a mystery. But Wilkinson implied that Wonder Woman’s costume tells a lot about who she is and where she comes from.
“With Wonder Woman, what Zack talked to me about was creating a character who has incredible power and strength. Her presence as a warrior is completely legitimate and unquestionable, but at the same time, has kind of a grace and elegance of Amazonian culture. It’s quite a formal culture. Their way of fighting is very, very disciplined, so we wanted to sense that majesty with her look.”
When asked if Wonder Woman can deflect things like bullets and heat vision with her bracelets, Wilkinson went into detail about how the DC character is immortal, so while creating her attire, they looked at real materials while also creating ones that “might have supernatural power to them.” Given the fact the DC Extended Universe’s version of Wonder Woman is a demigod, the possibility of her bracelets being incredibly durable isn’t far-fetched at all. Hopefully she’ll have jaw-dropping reflexes to go along with her gear, because while the bracelets may hold up against damaging attacks, it’s her swift reactions that allow her to properly block multiple projectiles with ease.
A noticeable amount of fans had positive reactions to these designs. To many, seeing a live-action Batman who is blatantly inspired by The Dark Knight Returns – one of the most popular comics of all-time – is great. Despite the overwhelming support for Batman’s new cinematic look, one common criticism does continue to pop up: the decision to make Affleck’s eyes visible instead of giving the cowl white eyes. Still, if that’s the most common complaint, then it’s clear the costumes have succeed in bringing Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman to life – at least visually, that is. Now we just have to wait and see if the characterization and story will do them *ahem* justice.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020. Untitled Batman and Superman solo films will be coming at dates TBD.
Source: DC All Access