First, the facts: director Zack Snyder and screenwriter David S. Goyer’s Man of Steel sequel – currently known as Batman Vs. Superman – will feature Ben Affleck as the next big-screen incarnation of the Dark Knight. This Batman will be “tired, weary and seasoned,” and given Goyer’s assertion that Man of Steel‘s controversial ending was a direct setup for the sequel, Batman is presumably positioned as an adversary for the returning Henry Cavill’s Superman – in case the working title didn’t spell that out.
While Warner Brothers and DC allowed the public to believe they were waiting on Man of Steel‘s box-office performance and reception before announcing any follow-ups, it turns out that plans for the sequel were always further along than anyone knew at the time. In hindsight, it makes sense, given that production is due to begin in early 2014 (not to mention past hints dropped by MoS star Henry Cavill). With this in mind, it was only a matter of time before talk shifted towards what Affleck’s Batman would look like, and what overall tone this version would have.
A slew of rumors have popped up over the past few days, with a few different unnamed sources providing information on what the new Batman’s cowl, costume and Batmobile might look like – as well as the possible comic book inspirations for these new outfits and accessories. We need to stress that these are all RUMORS, with nothing in the way of official confirmation from Batman Vs. Superman‘s studio or filmmakers… but let’s speculate wildly, shall we?
We know perfectly well going in that the look and feel of Affleck’s Batman and all his wonderful toys will be significantly different from what came before – in this case, the highly-functional Batsuit design of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy starring Christian Bale, as well as the tank-like Batmobile of that continuity. Batman’s costume and cowl are among the most iconic and easily recognizable superhero accessories, and every film version of the Dark Knight features a new look and feel of his symbolic outfit.
CBM brings us some unconfirmed information on the look of Batman’s cowl:
My source tells me that current cowl designs resemble the Caped Crusader’s look in ‘Batman: Noël.’ Which is a 2011 graphic novel written and illustrated by Lee Bermejo, based on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. They also explored concepts that looked like ‘Injustice: Gods Among Us’ designs, but ultimately passed on those because they were too similar to Nolan’s costume.
Batman: Noël, like many Batman graphic novels, is a self-contained story featuring the Joker as the primary antagonist and includes a visit from Superman. At first glance, the Bat-costume design in the artwork is similar to that of Nolan’s costume, but offers some sharper angles on the cowl and what appears to be a looser fit on Batman’s frame.
Also, the graphic novel’s costume adheres to the comic book’s relatively traditional gray-and-black color scheme, while Bale’s Batman was always clad in black, save for the yellow accent of the utility belt. Given Man of Steel‘s makeover of Superman’s costume, there’s a good chance that whatever the final Bat-suit design, it will reference its comic book origins while bringing a new, unique look to the table.
It also wouldn’t be surprising if the film incorporated some of Batman’s “New 52” outfit design – a source Snyder tapped for the look of Superman’s Man of Steel costume. The “Earth-2” version of the New 52 Batman also incorporates similar elements as the Noël version of the character, so that’s on the table as well.
And what about Batman’s preferred mode of transportation? According to Batman on Film, another unnamed source (referred to by the site as “Dr. Detroit”) provided this report on the new Batmobile:
The Batmobile is currently being designed and built by General Motors at the GM Advanced Design Studio in North Hollywood. This is the same team who most recently designed and built the vehicles for TRANSFORMERS 4 with Michael Bay – who was very hands-on and involved in the design/building process for the new Bumblebee Camaro.
Furthermore, the rumored new Batmobile design “will definitely NOT have a military look like The Tumbler from [Chris] Nolan’s ‘Dark Knight Trilogy.’” Plus, an “Old Cadillac” is supposed to “feature prominently” in the new film somehow. Is this Cadillac just a random background prop? Could it be completely unrelated to the Batman Vs. Superman production, or is it possible that Affleck’s Bruce Wayne/Batman may have converted an old, souped-up Caddy into a sleeker, modern Batmobile? Will his Batmobile actually transform from a normal-looking car into the Batmobile, in the vein of the supercar from The Incredibles?
Given the introduction of Kryptonian spacecraft, world engines and Phantom drives into the new Superman continuity – which is by default also that of the new Batman – almost anything is possible, but given Batman’s historically grounded nature, along with the relatively down-to-earth tone established in Man of Steel, the new Batmobile will most likely be based on the sleeker, roadster versions of the Batmobile. It is worth pointing out, however, that the military-style Tumbler of the Nolan films echoes the tank-like Batmobile featured in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, which in turn is inspiring Goyer and Snyder’s story for Batman Vs. Superman.
So how much of this is reliable, if anything? Given that this Man of Steel sequel is set to partially film in Michigan, with portions of economically-ravaged Detroit (home of General Motors) likely representing Gotham City and/or Metropolis, it does make a certain amount of sense for the studio to partner with GM to overhaul the Batmobile, but there is still nothing official. The same goes for the costume rumor, so take those details with several tons of salt.
All we know for sure is that this Batman will be different. Somehow. What do you think, Screen Ranters? What direction would you take the Bat-suit and Batmobile? Sound off in the comments!
Batman Vs. Superman will be released in theaters on July 17, 2015.