The costume designer on Justice League reveals how they lightened Superman’s suit. Warner Bros. has finally launched Justice League across the world, and in doing so, the DC movie universe has finally seen the return of Superman. After his sacrificial death in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, his return was immediately teased by having the dirt on Clark Kent’s grave levitate briefly. From that point on, fans wondered how and why Superman would return, and the film’s marketing didn’t give any answers.
Now that Justice League is in theaters and many have seen him, the Man of Steel has returned to marketing materials. His resurrection and the new direction and look of the DC films brought a new looking Superman to the big screen, and the film’s costume designer confirms the intentionally lighter suit and details how it happened.
Justice League‘s costume designer Michael Wilkinson was quoted in the newly released book Justice League: The Art of the Film revealing they lightened Superman’s suit for his return. Wilkinson also goes into detail over what changes were made to achieve this goal.
Superman really jumps off the screen in such a heroic way when he finally makes his appearance in this film. His suit has a slightly bolder blue. It’s a little more lustrous. We found new printing inks that make a dimensional high-raised surface and new paints and materials that make the undersuit incredibly chromed and shiny.
Even once Superman is resurrected, there is still some time that passes before he returns in this new suit. At first, Kal-El is confused and attacks members of the Justice League, but he does all of this shirtless. Once Lois snaps him out of this mindset, the two return to Kansas. It isn’t until Clark appears in the big third act set piece in Russia that he’s wearing the new suit detailed by Wilkinson. Regardless of the delayed reveal in the film, his new suit is quite noticeable, so Wilkinson and his crew effectively pulled off the change. The colors pop much more, which is a testament to the new way the suit was designed and manufactured.
Building off of the new suit, the lighter color palette of Justice League is another way Superman’s and many of the other heroes’ suits are able to stand out. Zack Snyder is known for being a director that will deliver pleasing visuals if nothing else, but he does so with muted colors (usually to match the themes of his movies). In their effort to make the movie have wider appeal and the added touch of Joss Whedon, Justice League is a lighter film tonally and stylistically. This change only further benefitted Superman’s new suit, and will hopefully be the look it continues to have moving forward.
Source: Justice League: The Art of the Film
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