From the moment we learned that Warner Bros. and DC Comics were planning on moving forward with a new big screen version of Batman, comic book fans have been speculating wildly about what the latest version of the costumed vigilante would look like. Would Batman Vs. Superman’s gear be radically different than what we saw in Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher and Christopher Nolan’s movies? Would it be based on a recent graphic novel, or would director Zack Snyder and his team go old school? Finally we have our answer, and it’s pretty stunning.
Yesterday, Snyder took to his Twitter account to reveal our first look at Ben Affleck as Batman, and fans have been buzzing about it ever since. Practically every pixel of the image is fascinating, from the shrouded figure in front to the stylish vehicle in back to the dark, moody atmosphere that takes over the whole thing. We can’t wait to see Batman vs. Superman’s Dark Knight in action, but until then let’s take a closer look at what we can expect to see in the 2016 mega blockbuster.
Ben Affleck’s chin is a fairly distinctive one, which you would think would make it hard for this version of Batman to keep his secret identity a secret. But we’re not here to talk about the actor’s face; we’re here to talk about how awesome and different this cowl is from anything we’ve seen on the big screen since the 1980s. Clearly inspired by the artistic work of Frank Miller – with whom Zack Snyder worked on 300 - the most notable quality of this mask is that the ears are much shorter than we’ve seen on the big screen previously. These don’t look like ears so much as they look like horns, making the Dark Knight look almost like a demon – perfect for scaring the crap out of Gotham’s criminal element.
The Batman logo has evolved to an incredible degree of the years, and Batman vs. Superman’s version is yet another step in that evolution. While Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher opted for skinny-winged versions of the symbol, Zack Snyder has gone in a completely opposite direction. The batwings here aren’t so much wings as they are a cape, and it’s surprising how much area it takes up on the chest plate. It’s a shame that it doesn’t have a more distinctive coloration, making it stand out from the rest of the costume, but that’s not the only area where the costume has this issue…
The Utility Belt
In the last 25 years, big-screen, live-action versions of Batman have been portrayed as wearing a black costume – moving away from the blues and greys of the comic – but one piece of equipment has always provided a splash of color: the utility belt. Typically either yellow or gold, the belt has classically been used to break up the monotony of the rest of the costume – even in Christopher Nolan’s darker-than-dark adaptation. It would appear that Zack Snyder and his team are moving in a different direction, however. It could just be the colorization of this first photo – is this black and white, or dimly lit? – but it would appear that this version of Batman has a utility belt that matches the scheme of the rest of his outfit. Definitely a different take.
The dim lighting and smokiness in the Batman vs. Superman costume reveal is pretty damn effective in terms of establishing an atmosphere and tone, but it also makes parts of the outfit hard to see – which kind of defeats the purpose, to a certain degree. Because of some shadows, it’s somewhat hard to get a good look at the gauntlets, but we’ve fixed that a bit by adjusting the brightness and contrast – as you can see above. It’s mostly pretty standard, but the blades on the arm definitely look shorter and duller than what we’ve been seeing in recent years – and I have a feeling that they don’t shoot out as projectiles.
Over the last decade, the big screen version of the Batmobile hasn’t been so much a car as it has been a tank. In 2005’s Batman Begins, director Christopher Nolan introduced us to The Tumbler, a fully-armored military vehicle made for jumping bridges and painted black at Bruce Wayne’s request. Like the Dark Knight trilogy’s version, Batman vs. Superman’s Batmobile has heavy armor plating, but the shape of the whole thing is much more reminiscent of the designs from Burton’s films. Of course, this is a rather obscured photo and we’ll probably get better looks at it at some point, but as things stand we’re pretty damn satisfied.
NJ native who calls LA home and lives in a Dreamatorium. A decade-plus CinemaBlend veteran who is endlessly enthusiastic about the career he’s dreamt of since seventh grade.
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