Batman needs some help. For decades, the Dark Knight has been beating up deranged criminals in Gotham City, and he has locked some truly bizarre creatures away in Arkham Asylum. (Some of them will be getting out in Suicide Squad, but that's neither here nor there.)
A few weeks back, I was lucky enough to visit the set of Zack Snyder's Justice League, which is filming outside of London for a November 17, 2017 release. We watched them film scenes. We saw footage. We toured massive sets, and scoured storyboards for the entire film. And during a stop in the costume department, we learned a lot from Costume Designer Michael Wilkinson, who has worked with Zack Snyder over the years on Watchmen, Man of Steel, 300, Sucker Punch and, now, Justice League. He walked us through the designs of the new Flash suit, the CGI that will go into creating Cyborg, the updates to Wonder Woman's costume, and the TWO new suits Batman will have in Justice League. Let's start on the first one.
The Classic Bat Suit
As Michael Wilkinson explains to us, the suit that Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) wears for large chunks of Justice League will be a very close variation from what we saw in Batman v Superman. But the costume department is always looking for the opportunity to tweak the suit's design and craftsmanship as new technologies come into play. The above photo is the closest comparison I found on the Web (and is NOT the suit that we actually saw). But those colors resemble what we saw, with a heavy mixture of grey and black, as seen above
The biggest difference that we noticed in the design of the Classic Bat Suit was the addition of armor plates found under the grey carbon-fiber mesh weave of the suit. It's pronounced in the stomach and the chest of Batman's suit, and it exists to give him more protection in the heat of battle. Wilkinson said:
One new detail is that Zack wanted a little more sense of armor and deflection on his gauntlets when he is shot at, and so I designed these [gloves] that are kind of based on the samurai. We know from Bruce Wayne's history that he studied martial arts in Japan, so I thought that could be appropriate. But we sort of modernized it with a Wayne Tech aesthetic here. It's a little more aggressive.
In addition, Wilkinson and his team have designed a new cowl for Batman, though on the outside, you might not notice a difference. As he explained to us, it's implied that, inside the cowl, there's this whole membrane and a protective system. But now it also comes with new and enhanced ways for Batman to communicate with Alfred (Jeremy Irons), as well as other members of the Justice League. The inside of the cowl, in addition to having a mold that fits Ben Affleck's face, is a mess of wires and gadgets that assist Batman in his crime-fighting duties.
But Batman isn't facing human villains in Justice League. The antagonists are stepping up their game, and so Bruce Wayne is developing a NEW suit. Keep reading to learn more about it.
The Tactical Bat Suit
This next one, we don't have an image for, because Michael Wilkinson's designs -- and the suit he'd crafted in the workshop -- were very much in the prototype stage. They aren't shooting with this suit for another two months, which Wilkinson jokes is like two years in costume-development time. But he's referring to it as the Tactical Bat Suit, and it offers "more protection," as he describes, for a human taking on Parademons and other-dimensional baddies like Steppenwolf.
This suit, while different from the Frank Miller-inspired suit in BvS, has a lot more armor than the Classic suit, yet it's layered in such a way that the costume still looks streamlined and sleek. (Again, not nearly as bulky as the suit Bruce wore to fight Superman in the conclusion of Dawn of Justice.) Wilkinson says that, in the final act of Justice League, Wayne realizes he needs to "step up his game," and his tactical suit will allow him to take on powerful forces without losing a step.
While I do not have an image of the suit, I can tell you that the designers had THIS image on their design board, and they were taking inspiration from it:
One difference between the Classic and the Tactical suits was the addition of Goggles that we were told that Batman will use to pilot a new vehicle, but Wilkinson stopped short of explaining which vehicle. He tells us:
We loved the way, in the comic books, that Batman's always drawn with these white flashes for eyes. So we played around with ways of doing that, and realized that they would sort of catch the light, to call to mind that classic age from the comic books.
We did learn that Batman will have a Nightcrawler vehicle, as well as a team-transporting Flying Fox, so it's possible that Batman will need the goggles to see where he's going in one of those crafts. But for now, that's all that we know.