December 1, 2021

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Why The Batman’s Batmobile Is So Different From Past Versions

The Batmobile Robert Pattinson drives in The Batman is vastly different to anything seen before on film – and there’s a good reason for that.

The Batman‘s Batmobile is a striking departure from DC tradition, but it’s a change that suits Robert Pattinson’s Caped Crusader beautifully. You can tell much about someone from the vehicle they drive, and that’s certainly true when it comes to cinematic Batman performances. The dramatic, sweeping wings and drag racer length of Michael Keaton’s Batmobile emphasized the gothic tone of Tim Burton’s movies, while Christian Bale’s battle tank adhered to the militaristic aesthetic of The Dark Knight trilogy.

Next to pull on the cowl is Robert Pattinson, set to debut in Matt Reeves’ The Batman – a standalone franchise-starter separate from the wider DCEU. Warner Bros. has already revealed still images of Pattinson’s Batmobile, depicting a souped-up black American muscle car. The Batman‘s first trailer (released in August 2020) delved a little deeper, showcasing the spectacular rear rocket booster and its blue flame, as well as a fleeting few shots of Batman chasing down Colin Farrell’s Penguin.

Related: Batmobile Reveals Compared: Robert Pattinson vs. Ben Affleck

However, it’s The Batman‘s second trailer, unveiled as part of DC FanDome 2021, that really satisfies fans’ Batmobile itch, providing the closest look yet at Robert Pattinson’s superhero wheels. The smell of burning rubber begins on another shot of the Batmobile’s rear nitro setup igniting, and Bruce inside slamming on the gas. Then comes an extended version of the first trailer’s Penguin car chase, and a side angle of Pattinson’s The Batman Batmobile crashing through street debris. Penguin thinks he’s lost his tail, but a flaming Batmobile roars through the burning orange and shunts Oswald Cobblepott’s ride from behind.

Batmobile in The Batman

Combining existing images and the new FanDome footage, it’s very obvious that The Batman‘s Batmobile is a unique beast, lacking both the superhero bombast of the Adam West and Michael Keaton eras, and the tank-like robustness enjoyed by Christian Bale and Ben Affleck. DC comics hold some close comparisons, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s, where Batman drove a glorified sports car (and had his wheels stolen by a young Jason Todd), and in Neal Adams’ work, but Pattinson’s vehicle is still far removed from traditional Batmobile designs. On a surface level, this can be attributed to Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne being in only his second year as a vigilante. The Batman‘s title character is still finding his wings as a superhero, and this is reflected by his rudimentary costume and gadgets. It’s only natural the Batmobile follow suit by having the appearance of a regular car… relatively speaking.

Another possible explanation for Bruce’s mode of transport in The Batman comes, weirdly, from the ever-reliable spoiler source of LEGO merchandise. The Bat-cave set refers to Bruce as “The Drifter,” which seems to be a guise the billionaire takes on the streets of Gotham, similar to when Christian Bale’s Bruce went travelling in Batman Begins, but still within his home city. If Bruce drops his socialite persona completely and lives humbly, mingling among the city’s other “drifters” and then transitions into Batman whenever a situation arises, it makes that his car would be as inconspicuous as possible. The Batmobile is, traditionally, not the easiest car to park without folks noticing. The Batman‘s design, however, could easily blend into the shadows. It’s smaller, sleeker, lacks the theatrical decorations, and crucially, is not a tank. Even the booster on the back doesn’t really notice until there’s blue fire pouring from it. Batman could feasibly leave his Batmobile in a backstreet and jump in secretly at a moment’s notice.

The style of The Batman‘s Batmobile also suggests Robert Pattinson will be doing more actual detective work compared to his predecessors. The Batman‘s FanDome trailer shows Bruce in disguise, and stalking around clues laid out on the floor. His car isn’t designed to announce a grand arrival like past Batmobiles – it’s the vehicle of a dangerous, costumed PI lurking in the shadows.

More: The Batman: What Car Robert Pattinson’s Batmobile Is

  • The Batman (2022)Release date: Mar 04, 2022
  • DC League of Super-Pets (2022)Release date: May 20, 2022
  • Black Adam (2022)Release date: Jul 29, 2022
  • The Flash (2022)Release date: Nov 04, 2022
  • Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom (2022)Release date: Dec 16, 2022
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023)Release date: Jun 02, 2023

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