Superhero costumes are a crucial element to bringing comic book legends to the big screen. If handled well, they have the potential to dazzle and amaze moviegoers. If they’re a stodgy mess of CGI… then sometimes the opposite happens.
For Zack Snyder’s awe-inspiring, gargantuan blockbuster Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, there’s no expense being spared to craft a series of state-of-the-art costumes that sound downright beguiling. Oscar-nominated costume designer Michael Wilkinson is the creative genius tasked with their creation, and in an interview with Fashionista, he revealed Snyder’s motivation for the costumes:
[Zack] really wants these characters to connect directly to our world. So if you were walking down the street and you came across Superman or Batman — of course it would be startling and powerful — but it could actually happen in our world rather than in a stylized version of our reality.
Wilkinson moves the conversation toward specific elements of the beloved superheroes’ outfits. One area in particular that’s taken a considerable whack of criticism throughout Batman’s big screen career has been his cowl. But that should be thing of the past:
That’s actually one of the first things that Snyder mentioned to me in one of our initial meetings. It’s a very important thing to Zack that the Batsuit would be comfortable and very flexible, but then would be able to perform in a very natural and forceful way. So a lot of incredible engineering went into the development of the new black cowl.
The matter of fan input in today’s comment-heavy digital world isn’t lost on Wilkinson either, who seemingly revels in the interaction:
“It’s no longer a designer just in his workroom pushing a costume out into the world and that’s it. There’s a real sense of a conversation and engaging in a dialogue about this stuff.”
As proof of the technical wizardry enlisted by Wilkinson and co., the designer pointed out the intricate matter of the actors stepping into the actual costumes. Apparently, it takes 15 minutes to get Henry Cavill into his Superman outfit and Ben Affleck closer to 25 minutes until he’s ready to deliver justice as Batman.
“It does involve multiple costumers. It’s not the sort of thing that I could just sit in Ben’s trailer and he gets into it himself. It’s a six-handed operation.”
Co-starring Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Jena Malone, Holly Hunter and Scoot McNairy Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters on March 25, 2016.