The Batmobile has been many things over the past 80 years or so. It went from a regular ’30s coupe (top up, it was Batman; top down, it was Bruce Wayne), to an elongated, more bat-inspired version when the first was destroyed in the comics. It was a Lincoln Futura designed by George Barris for the TV show. And then, 30 years or so ago, it became a purpose-built, high-tech, high-speed, high-finned custom deal. After that it became even more cartoonish for Val Kilmer, before Christopher Nolan took over for The Dark Knight trilogy where it became a militarized, armored, all-terrain transformer. Zach Snyder built upon that.
For the record, my favorite is the one from Batman: The Animated Series.
Warner Bros. is streaming the hourlong Batmobile documentary shown above (for free) that starts with the comics and winds its way through the TV show and big-budget movies. Designers, directors, producers, and actors all give their thoughts on why it was such an iconic vehicle and what choices they made during design.
Even if you’re a casual fan of the series, you’ll love it. And hard-core fans will certainly learn something new. For example, when Tim Burton’s team was building the new car for Michael Keaton’s portrayal, they forgot to put in a door, hence the jet fighter-like sliding canopy. Same movie, the producers realized Batman’s ears wouldn’t fit under the canopy, so a special bat mask, with slightly shorter ears, had to be used for those shots.
Check it out above. Robert Pattinson’s turn as The Batman hits theaters in October 2021.
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