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Batman sure does love his "wonderful toys," and Justice League offered up some of the coolest Bat-themed gadgets yet. In fact, one of the coolest gizmos of the bunch was the aptly-named Knight Crawler -- which allowed Batman and the newly-formed superhero team to investigate the area underneath Gotham Harbor. It was a far cry from the Batcycle that was initially planned for the film, and that change was apparently made to suit Justice League's team-oriented themes. Concept artist Ed Natividad explained in a recent interview:
The Batcycle was proposed as a new form of transport for Batman. However it was superseded in favor of the Knight Crawler. Zack Snyder felt the cycle did not reflect the 'team' dynamic and needed something that would carry at least three of the members.
Developing a movie with Batman in it must feel like a gadget lover's dream, and Justice League went through a series of different iterations and incarnations, which involved changing the tech used by Bruce Wayne in the fight against Steppenwolf. In earlier versions of the movie, Batman used a unique motorcycle with anti-gravity technology to help him hover above the ground. That said, director Zack Snyder eventually decided that Batman should use something a bit larger, with the ability to carry multiple inhabitants, per Ed Natividad's explanation of the decision to Film Sketchr.
Thematically speaking, it is easy to understand why Justice League would want to embrace a larger vehicle like this, but it also makes sense from a creativity point of view. We have seen numerous Batman movies over the years, many of which have included Bat-themed motorcycles for Batman (or members of The Bat Family) to use. With memories of the Batpod used in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises still fresh in mind, it seems logical that the folks behind Justice League would endeavor to avoid such comparisons.
You can check out a portion of Justice League's showstopping Knight Crawler sequence, below.
The decision to create a vehicle with a sizeable carrying capacity did not stop at the creation of the Knight Crawler. In addition to eschewing the motorcycle in favor of the spider-like tank, Justice League also saw Bruce Wayne use his Flying Fox ship to transport the entire League (minus Superman, who was busy getting his new suit) to Russia for the showdown against Steppenwolf. Again, it all ties back into the film's broader theme of letting Batman work with others after twenty years of solitude.