This is the year that the DC Extended Universe really launches in theaters, finally providing a connected movie world for major heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Joker, Harley Quinn and other beloved DC Comics characters. The first move towards this continuity is Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, which hits theaters this March.
The new Batmobile is one of the many things on the minds of moviegoers as they gear up for what is destined to be, in the words of legendary announcer Jim Ross, a “slobberknocker” of a battle! On a recent episode of Conan, director Zack Snyder not only debuted a new Batman V Superman clip, he also revealed some details about his big screen version of the Batmobile and how it differs from the most recent on-screen Batmobile: The Dark Knight trilogy’s Tumbler.
In the above clip from that episode of Conan on the TBS network, Snyder expressed his excitement about getting to develop a new ride for Batman (Ben Affleck) in Batman V Superman:
“I said we need a Batmobile right? Cause if you’re a smallest amount of a dork you want to make a Batmobile, right? That seems like the first thing you want to do.”
In comparison to the Tumbler Batmobile utilized in the Christopher Nolan Dark Knight trilogy, Snyder describes the Batman V Superman Batmobile as being more “Batty”:
“You’ve seen the Chris Nolan Batman movies? They repurposed a military vehicle. The cool thing about our Batmobile is its purpose built by Bruce Wayne to be the Batmobile. It allows it to be slightly battier.”
Snyder goes on to describe a Batmobile that is more prop than function:
“There was a bit in the movie where Superman stands on the Batmobile, right? Oh my gosh look, Zack here it is! Wow, it looks great, it looks like a real car. It’ll be cool when Superman stands on it. And they’re like ‘no, no one can stand on it!’. Guys, its gotta..and I started to walk on it and they’re like ‘no, no don’t do that!’. So, they had to reinforce it and they filled it with foam and stuff like that, so you can stand on it, and it worked out really great.”
It may appear like it was simply a re-purposed military vehicle to the untrained eye, but the tank-like Tumbler Batmobile that was utilized in the Nolan Batman trilogy of films was designed and fabricated by production designer Nathan Crowley after he and Nolan “kitbashed” various models of airplanes and cars together for months. The process of kitbashing or modelbashing is when you take various existing models and pull pieces from them to create an all-new design. The fact that it had to make actual stunt jumps for the film meant that they needed to create a chassis that could withstand the pressure. The crew used a number of springs and shock absorbers to make the process possible. The result was a nine foot long tank that featured 65 body panels, a Chevrolet V8 engine and could reach speeds of up to 100 miles per hour, making it one of the more functional movie Batmobiles on the road.
The Batman V Superman Batmobile is significantly more decadent than the Tumbler, boasting a nearly 20 foot length and far more Bat-design than the Tumbler. The design by Patrick Tatopoulos and Dennis McCarthy also features the first stationary gun turret, which mounts on the front of the car like a deadly hood ornament.
Its well-known amongst creators in film, animation and comic books that one of the best exciting things about being able to contribute creatively to the Batman franchise is the opportunity to put your own spin on his legendary wheels. Whether this new version of the Batmobile will go down in history in the same way that the 1966 Barris model or the 1989 Anton Furst design has is yet to be seen though.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice will be in theaters on March 25th, 2016; Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016; Wonder Woman – June 23rd, 2017; Justice League – November 17th, 2017; The Flash – March 23rd, 2018; Aquaman – July 27th, 2018; Shazam – April 5th, 2019; Justice League 2 – June 14th, 2019; Cyborg – April 3rd, 2020; Green Lantern – June 19th, 2020.