Batmobile From Batman Vs. Superman: Clues To The Final Design


While The CW has kind of muddied the waters with The Flash, earlier today the biggest news on the comic book block was all Batman. With the first stills and synopsis coming out of FOX Television's Gotham and Zack Snyder teasing the reveal of Batman vs. Superman's Batmobile, it was hard to throw a rock without hitting somebody talking about Batman this morning...and it'll surely be just as hard tomorrow when, while Marvel is hyping up the season finale for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Snyder and company will apparently fully reveal the look of the Batmobile. Before they do, though, what little we've seen so far paints an interesting picture of what might be to come. The two obvious cinematic influences, at least from what little we can see, are The Dark Knight Trilogy's Tumbler and the sporty, spoiler-heavy version used in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever and Batman and Robin. SDCC 2012

That last bit, of course, will likely never be acknowledged by the filmmakers. The piece that feels Nolan-inspired is the massive rear tires and the somewhat more "practical" way that the bat-wing spoiler is set up. Rather than being just a giant piece of metal or plastic that serves no purpose other than to look cool, having the hydraulics there suggests pretty clearly that there's a practical element to the design. That, of course, is something that's been key to the Nolan films as well as to Man of Steel. Very little is there for ceremony or theatricality (hence, for instance, the lack of sculpted musculature on Batman's costumes in spite of the fact that it was there in the Burton and Schumacher films). While the rear wheels are oversized, though, they aren't quite the massive pieces that we saw on the Tumbler. They're also protected by a wheel well that brings most of the tire under the body of the car, as we saw in previous Batmobiles and most of the comic book versions.


The current, Greg Capullo-designed Batmobiles seem to be an inspiration here, too -- or at least there's enough similarity to consider that it's probably not totally coincidental. He's designed two Batmobiles for the New 52 -- one of them is a somewhat more practical reworking of an incredibly sporty car that bears some resemblance to the Schumacher-era designs, and the other is a somewhat more practical concept car-style design that's being used in Batman: Zero Year, the epic retelling of Batman's origin by Capullo and writer Scott Snyder. The Zero Year car is the one that all eyes have been on for a while now, since rumors have been flying for a while that Batman's car would be somewhat more like something that you might actually be able to purchase or see on the street in Batman vs. Superman. That doesn't seem to be true based on what little we've seen under that tarp, but certainly the idea of a car with a sporty body and low profile, but oversized rear wheels, is one that we see reflected in the Capullo design (even though there's no huge spoiler on the back). It's probably also worth a mention that with a center-mounted exhaust system that seems likely to have a booster rocket of some kind in there somewhere and bat detailing on the back end, some will likely see a (very) subtle nod to the Batman '66 Batmobile in there. That's a fair observation, although how likely it is to be intentional versus just a case of some common design elements is anybody's guess. More likely than the Adam West Batman is that Batman: The Animated Series may have had an impact. In that, it's a sleek and sporty car, but one with the exaggerated fins on the back that would give it the low-to-high profile seen under the tarp. All that said, neither the West Batmobile, nor the animated version, had the kind of modular approach that this Batmobile appears to have. While there are wheel wells protecting the tires, they don't seem to be directly attached to the car's body (at least in the position it's in now). In that way, the Capullo "Zero Year" model seems like a similar candidate again.


If I absolutely had to pick one Batmobile that this one may resemble the most when the tarp is pulled in however-many-hours, it would probably be the one from the Arkham game franchise (which, ironically, is also inspiring Batman: Assault on Arkham, the character's next animated feature film due out soon). With the large wheel wells, the big spoiler and the idea that it's more traditionally car-like than most of his previous Batmobiles (if that's true, of course), the car might actually evoke memories of one of the earliest and most iconic Batmobiles, introduced way back in Batman  #5. Just imagine watching Zack Snyder and company try to translate the car below into something that would work in live action. If it was pulled off, it would be one of the great cinematic accomplishments of his career...