Justice League Art Book: Knightcrawler User Guide & Mobility Explained

The new making-of book Justice League: The Art of the Film provides a closer look at Batman’s cool new vehicle the Knightcrawler. While Justice League has its fans, it’s fair to say the movie hasn’t performed to Warner Bros. expectations. The film underwent a number of behind the scenes issues, including Zack Snyder choosing to step aside as director following a personal tragedy, and new director Joss Whedon coming on board to film extensive reshoots.

The resulting movie is an uneasy union between the differing styles of Whedon and Snyder, and it's often easy to spot which scenes were reshot because of this. Reviews for the film often take aim at the short runtime, the lameness of villain Steppenwolf – a critique Joss Whedon himself appears to agree with – and the distractingly poor CGI removal of Henry Cavill’s mustache. The cost of the reshoots brought the total budget of Justice League close to $300 million, but due to the film’s muted reception thus far, the studio may lose around $100 million by the time it finishes its run.

Related: Whedon Likes Tweet Bashing Steppenwolf

The new book Justice League: The Art of the Film by author Abbie Bernstein takes the reader inside the production, and provides a close look at Batman’s latest vehicle: the Knightcrawler. The book has a handy user guide (which can be seen here) for the vehicle, covering its many functions, such as the radar screens, motion detectors, the ascension readers and – of course – the various weapon functions. This hefty beast is also able to scale walls, and production designer Patrick Tatopoulos explains the choices he made when it comes to the practicality of the vehicle being able to climb.

For long distances, the Knightcrawler wasn’t very practical, so I decided to have tank-like treads living within its legs. I asked myself, how does it climb walls? I decided that it has spikes on the side of the legs. One spike embeds itself in the wall in the wall and widens, so it gets stuck there, then retracts again as the next spike embeds itself, and so on.

In addition to designing new vehicles like the Knightcrawler and The Flying Fox, Tatopoulos recently revealed a sketch on his Instagram for a Batcycle. This futuristic vehicle had no wheels and functioned on jet turbines instead. Despite his sleek design, the Batcycle didn’t make it into the movie.

While some fans had a great time with Justice League (the film currently holds an 80% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes), others felt unsatisfied with the final product. That’s why they’ve launched a high profile petition, asking the studio to release Zack Snyder’s original cut before the Whedon reshoots began. The petition is nearing 150,000 signatures, but it’s unknown if Warner Bros. would consider such a move. That said, an alternate cut being made available on Blu-ray may encourage those who didn’t enjoy the theatrical version to give Justice League a second chance.

Source: Justice League: The Art of the Film

Key Release Dates
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • Justice League (2017) release date: Nov 17, 2017
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