Carl goes beyond the frame to explore ‘The Batmobile’ at DC FanDome
Ever since Batman burst onto the screens after being on the printed page, he has always traveled the streets of Gotham in his famed ‘Batmobile‘. Starting with Bruce Wayne’s car and up to the new version we will see next year in ‘The Batman‘, we have come to expect to be blown away by the designs they designers come up with. In the interesting and informative documentary contained in the ‘Insideverse’ section of the DC FanDome pages, there is a documentary all about the beloved car and its various designs over the years. Every version is examined during the 45 minutes we spend with the car and its many features and we marvel at how the variations were designed, built, and brought to life for the movies, animated show and the TV shows that we all know and love.
And of course, no documentary about Batman and the Batmobile would be complete without the appearance of the late, legendary Adam West and his recollections about his version of the car, one that to this day, is regarded as the standard and probably the most famous of them all.
The documentary is like a Batmobile lover’s dream. Everything you ever wanted to know about the vehicle is delved into here. The way the Batmobile was designed for every incarnation it had (up to ‘The Dark Knight Rises‘), its many features, the problems each design presented to the designers to make and use, everything that we as fans could want. I wasn’t aware that legendary artist and designer H.R Giger (he who designed the Alien for the eponymous franchise) had been approached to design a version of the car for ‘Batman Forever‘ but his design, although partly incorporated into the design of the finished vehicle, couldn’t be used in its entirety as it just couldn’t be built for real and would have to be a CGI effect, something the filmmakers didn’t want to do for cost fears and practicality.
And when ‘Batman & Robin‘ rolled around, the filmmakers decided to redesign the car again, this time making it bigger and with more neon-tinged effects to it in line with the film itself. This time, however, because of the costs involved, only one Batmobile was created for the live-action shots with the rest being CGI animated instead. But one cool aspect of the car was the tires. The tires themselves had to be made oversized without any tread at all on them. So what did they decide to do? They cut the Batman symbol into each tire which left a bat-shaped tread every time the wheels spun. Not that the tire marks were that noticeable in the finished film.
When it came to the Tumbler from Christopher Nolan’s sublime ‘Dark Knight Trilogy‘, it was Nolan himself who helped create the design for the new version of the vehicle. Every aspect of the way the Tumbler was designed, tested, and created is delved into with tremendous detail. Christian Bale himself reveals that he drove the car briefly but for the action scenes, although he would have loved to have done the driving and the stunts himself, he acknowledged that he agreed with the studio that a professional stunt driver should take control of the car itself. Behind the scenes footage of the car being put through its paces and secrets of how they managed to accomplish many of the stunts with such a heavy and tank-like vehicle is revealed to the fans and the viewer throughout the documentary.
It is worth checking out and delving into the history and the everlasting appeal of the Batmobile. As one person correctly puts it, the Batmobile is a character all by itself. And with that, truer words have not been spoken.
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter @CarlRoberts2 where he uses the force frequently!