Over the years, Batman has taken many shapes. He’s starred in comics, leapt onto the silver screen, taken on camp, drama, and even appeared in musicals. But despite his ever-changing form, three iconic Batman fixtures have emerged over time: Batman’s Batsuit, Batmobile, and Batcave. And so, when a new Batman emerges from the darkness, as Robert Pattinson’s has in 2022, the first questions we have to ask revolve around these three Batobjects.
2022’s The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, brought us a new flavor of the Dark Knight. One that’s less concerned with Batman’s origins and more concerned with his mental state. The Batman is a movie that revives the Caped Crusader’s detective origins but brings with it a starker vulnerability than ever before. And still. This is Batman. And all Batmans must have some iconic things in common. So let’s meet The Batman’s incarnation of the Batsuit, Batmobile, and Batcave.
The Batman’s Batsuit
Batman’s Batsuit is one of the Dark Knight’s most important things. Without it, he’s just another lonely rich boy with dead parents. Batman himself isn’t gifted with preternatural powers, so it’s up to his Batsuit to give him the edge. But for Robert Pattinson’s Batman, that edge is on shakier ground than most.
Whereas other Batman iterations have been fully outfitted with the sleekest of Batsuits and the most evolved gadgets, The Batman’s Batsuit reflects that we are meeting a different kind of Bruce Wayne. Though 2022’s The Batman is not an origin story, Bruce is still early into his crime-fighting career. And he really does not have it all together yet.
2022’s Batsuit Reveals Batman’s Inner State
At DC Fandome 2021, The Batman’s Director Matt Reeves shared:
One of the things about [The Batman‘s] Batsuit is that it is very practical. The whole idea is that he’s made it himself. And so, we needed to be able to see how it would fit on him and all the ways he could move but also make it look like something that was still evolving. Even the idea of the story, he’s in year two so he’s been wearing it and so every night, he goes out looking for trouble. You look at his cowl and actually see there are gashes in it. All of that detail was an incredibly exciting dialogue between me and the costume designers and then having Rob involved.
Batman is, as they say, a little messy. Like his sense of self, Bruce Wayne’s Batsuit remains a work in progress. Unlike other smooth, glossy iterations, 2022’s Batsuit feels very piecemeal. There are almost cracks between its many pieces. We feel like one blow in the right place, and the whole thing could fall into component pieces. As Reeves points out, the suit even has gashes in it. Altogether, this Batsuit projects one message very clearly, this Batman is not untouchable.
The Batman’s Batsuit Does Not Pull Punches
In a conversation with Esquire, Reeves adds to this notion as he discusses Batman’s (rather emo) eyeliner. He offers, “You can’t wear a cowl and not wear that. All of the Batmen wear that…I just loved the idea of taking off [the mask], and under that, there’s the sweating and the dripping and the whole theatricality of becoming this character.”
Batman’s Batsuit is no marvel of futuristic fiction. It’s hot, heavy, and it makes him sweat. (And gives him those dashing undereye smears.) It seems like much of what makes 2022’s Batman tick also makes him kind of miserable. And yet, he wouldn’t have it any either way.
Robert Pattinson also notes the following about his Batman, “He’s nowhere at home except on the street when he’s wearing the suit. He lives a criminal life, but without committing crimes! I felt like I could get something out of that. Anyway, I could only play a superhero if he was really dirty! (Laughs.)”
This Batsuit may not be a gleaming ideal, but it remains a core part of what makes Batman, Batman.
A Closer Look at 2022’s Batsuit
Alongside this wealth of information, we’ve now been given a closer look at 2022’s Batsuit, alongside some insights into its creation from The Art of The Batman.
First up, a full look at the concept art of the suit. We can see how Batman’s Batsuit evolved from plan to screen.
Next, we learn more about the inner workings of the suit itself. According to The Art of Batman, this Batsuit is built like a Russian pressure suit. “The lacing detail up the side and back is based on what pilots would wear. And we’ve got elastic in the back so they can fight and stretch and punch freely.”
Finally, we take a closer look at Batman’s utility belt and cowl. This utility belt aims to be more practical, unlike versions that other incarnations of Batman have worn. And fits in with the realistic vibe The Batman exudes. As for the cowl, the most important thing was mobility. The designers of The Batman‘s Batsuit wanted him to be able to really move his neck and to have full motion. The vertebrae-like pieces are just bonuses that work really well with Batman’s piece-meal, grungy vibes.
The Batman’s Batmobile
Much like 2022’s Batsuit, The Batman’s Batmobile directly reflects this Batman’s personality. A little DIY, a little grimy, a lot of parts that fit together into something that works, but not gracefully.
The Batman’s DIY Batmobile
Reeves again shares, “The Nolan films established the Batmobile as a tank, which was a brilliant idea… But I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if this guy is a loner and a gearhead and fashioning these things by himself, taking parts of other cars and kit cars? So it’s recognizable as a car this time. But it’s like a muscle car. One that he’s made himself.”
Oh, Bruce Wayne. We hope Catwoman ends up being a bosom buddy because it sounds like you could use a friend. The Batmobile’s description does share an interesting idea, though. That Batman is taking parts of cars and putting them together to create his own. It sounds like the Batmobile is really a metaphor for The Batman’s Dark Knight. We may see Bruce Wayne, unsure of who he is, take parts and pieces of others and try them on for size. Let’s just hope he picks the right ones.
The Batmobile as a Horror Movie Monster
Speaking of Frankenstein’s monster, Reeves also revealed the following to Empire (which we saw on Slash Film):
[The Batmobile] has to make an appearance out of the shadows to intimidate, so I thought of it almost like Stephen King’s Christine. I liked the idea of the car itself as a horror figure, making an animalistic appearance to really scare the hell out of the people Batman’s pursuing. There is absolutely a horror-genre aspect to this movie.
There is something distinctly horror-sounding about how Reeves notes Bruce Wayne “takes parts of cars and kit cars” to make the Batmobile. And, as mentioned, if you’re not careful picking your parts, you might accidentally bring something to life that you didn’t mean to. But whether Batman embraces or resents this aspect of himself and his Batmobile is yet to be seen.
The Batman’s LEGO Batmobile
LEGO’s The Batman Batmobile set also gives us a closer look at the car. In it, we can more clearly see how the Batmobile has many raw edges. But not to be underestimated, the LEGO Batmobile promises two spring-loaded shooters that launch mega missiles. Haphazard, but deadly. And, of course, nothing says edgy like blue flame shooting behind you. The Riddler had better watch out.
The set features two Minifigures, Batman with a fabric cape and the Penguin, who has “a shooter and hand-held rocket launcher” in hand. So maybe it’s actually Batman who needs to watch his back. We hope this Batmobile can survive a direct attack.
All in all, one could surmise that Robert Pattinson’s Batman listens to My Chemical Romance as he rides through the darkness in his Batmobile. Possibly with his bangs flying in the wind.
A Closer Look at The Batman‘s Batmobile
The Art of The Batman also gives us a closer look at 2022’s Batmobile. This in-depth look at the Batmobile’s design really helps us see how the final vehicle came together. Most notably, the pages from the book share how The Batman‘s Batmobile designers wanted to incorporate a bat motif into the Batmobile, but they didn’t want it to feel too overt. In the end, they stretched out the rear fins to give the Batmobile a more bat-like look, to great effect.
Designer James Chinlund shares, “The design process was like finding a way of letting Bruce reveal his character and the intimidation factor of recognizing like ‘Oh, my God. That’s Batman!”—but at the same time keeping it under wraps low-key.
Like everything else about The Batman, Batman’s Batmobile reflects a certain realism and reclusivity. This Batman is not necessarily the flashiest or most polished, but he is still powerful.
The Batman’s Batcave
The last of the Batman signature trifecta is the Batcave. And while we might typically imagine a high-tech stronghold. Reeves’ The Batman takes us in a different direction.
Reeves explains more about his version of the Batcave in his Esquire interview. He notes, “The idea [of the Batcave] being that some of these wealthy industrialist families had private train cars at the turn of the century. So the Batcave is actually in the foundation of this tower. It was [another] way of saying, ‘How can we root all these things in things that feel real, but also extraordinary?” Additionally, according to the publication, “The new Batcave is based on a secret underground railway that still exists in New York.”
The Batcave brings with it a sense of decay. What was once rich and opulent is now abandoned. And Bruce Wayne, himself a member of a wealthy family, has returned to this site of excess. But what will he do there is the question?
Pattinson adds, “The interesting thing is that this Batman practically lives in the gutter.” That honestly feels literal to us, given the other information we have. “The gutter” isn’t how we would typically think of the Batcave. But for 2022’s vision of Batman, we’d say it fits right in.
The Batman Is Coming Soon
Matt Reeves and Robert Pattinsons’ The Batman was released in theaters on March 4. Its Batsuit, Batmobile, and Batcave are well on their way to becoming an iconic part of Batman history.