Official Batman vs. Superman details are a welcome respite from the steady stream of rumor and speculation surrounding production on the Man of Steel sequel. Some days, it’s hard to know what we can believe. Director Zack Snyder has proven that he’s willing to go against the grain by casting young (albeit talented) actor Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor – not to mention the controversial choice of Ben Affleck as Batman. Whether you love, hate, or are indifferent to the way Batman vs. Superman is shaping up, there’s no doubt that Warner Bros. has cast off the notion of a paint-by-numbers adaptation. As a result, some reports that the industry would normally brush aside are often given a second-thought because, at this point, almost anything seems possible.
Which is why it’s so nice to hear information from first hand sources – casting confirmations from the studio, behind-the-scenes reveals, and clarification from people with eyes-on knowledge of the production. Last week’s reveal of Ben Affleck in a Batman vs. Superman Batsuit was another contentious platform for debate but also an appreciated glimpse at how Snyder intends to depict the Caped Crusader in the Man of Steel movie universe.
The costume was a major source of conversation in the latest Screen Rant Underground Podcast episode, as we gave our impressions while also debating the more mysterious elements of the reveal – weighing in on the ratio of padding to Affleck muscle mass, those infamous “lines,” and which color scheme we expect to see in a polychromatic version of the photo, among other topics.
Now, during his show Hollywood Babble-On, Kevin Smith reveals the Batsuit picture Snyder showed him last year was different from the black and white Twitter photo the Batman vs. Superman director shared with the public. According to the comic book writer, filmmaker, and Bat-fan, the photo he saw, the one that moved him to hug Snyder in appreciation, presented the new suit in full color – and is the exact outfit worn in The Dark Knight Returns, Book 3: “Hunt the Dark Knight”:
“[The black and white photo] is a very cool picture, but that is not the picture I saw [...] They put it on a fake rooftop, and they lit it up. But it was in color, and you could see every piece of detail. So I’ve seen some people online go, ‘Why is this f***ing suit any different than the Chris Nolan Batsuit, it’s all one f***ing color.’ It’s like, ‘Dude, that’s a monochrome photo. You know what that means, one chrome. That’s not a representation of what the suit looks like. So what the suit looks like, and I was always kind of keeping it quiet until they revealed it, but they’ve revealed it. And you can kind of see, and anybody that – you’ve seen some people take the picture and color it online. If you want to see what this f***ing suit looks like, you just go to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, go to the third book, Hunt the Dark Knight. It’s the exact f***ing outfit he’s wearing. That’s why I hugged that guy all those months ago.”
For those who are unfamiliar with Frank Miller and Klaus Janson’s Dark Knight Returns miniseries, the story follows an aging Batman who once again cleans up the streets of Gotham – placing the Caped Crusader at odds with the government and, subsequently, Superman. While multiple Batsuit variations appear in the four part series, the outfit featured in “Hunt the Dark Knight” is grey with black highlights – a combination that many expected when they first saw Snyder’s teaser photo.
It’s worth pointing out that the suit varies from navy blue/grey to black/grey throughout the comic series, but the exact issue Smith refers to (home to an iconic showdown between Batman and Joker) features the black and grey prominently. Check out artwork from “Hunt the Dark Knight,” a fan photoshop of the Frank Miller costume, along with a rendering of the suit in Batman: Arkham City below:
While it’s safe to assume that Smith’s description of the suit can be believed, he then goes on to speculate that multiple Batmobiles and Batsuits could be featured in Batman vs. Superman:
“I will put this to you. What if it’s one of a few Batmobiles? What if that’s one of a few outfits in the movie? I suspect that’s the case.”
It’s important to note that, unless Smith is holding back first hand knowledge, the latter part of his comments are merely conjecture and should not be accepted as fact – at least not yet. Still, it is possible that he’ll turn out to be right – we’ve already heard rumors suggesting that Batman vs. Superman could feature two Batsuits: one for everyday crime fighting (the grey and black one) as well as an armored variation that would be used to battle the Man of Steel (similar to the suit featured in The Dark Knight Returns, book 4 “The Dark Knight Falls”) or some other foe(s).
That said, this would be the first we’ve heard of multiple Batmobiles. As mentioned, it would be a mistake to outright dismiss the idea that Snyder might double-down on Bat-vehicles but no concrete information has surfaced to suggest this part of Kevin Smith’s speculation is actually happening. While it would certainly be fun to see multiple Batsuits, Batmobiles, Batboats, and Batcopters, Snyder is already working with a pretty full deck in his Batman/Superman mash-up.
It’s unclear how big a role future Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) have in Batman vs. Superman but with confirmation of a Justice League movie in development, the director has plenty of time to wow us with new Bat-toys. After all, Batman is one of the most iconic superheroes in existence – and it would be a shame if Warner Bros. took a quantity over quality approach to Batman accessorizing in his first post-Nolan series appearance. We’ve got plenty of time for the kitchen sink, right now Snyder just needs to deliver one pair of unforgettable suit and Batmobile designs that can set a new bar in the public consciousness.
For many, the new costume reveal was a solid first step. Now, we just have to wait to see what else the filmmaker does (and does not) have planned for Batman vs. Superman.
Batman vs. Superman is scheduled for May 6, 2016.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for any future updates on Batman vs. Superman, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.