One of the cooler aspects of developing a Batman movie is that you don’t just get to reimagine one of the most famous superheroes of all time, but you also get to redesign all his awesome toys.
Each screen incarnation of Batman has been mirrored by his Batmobile: from 60s nuclear age chic, to Anton Furst’s amazing 1989 art-deco version, to Christian Bale’s militaristic and aggressive looking Tumbler. Ben Affleck’s take on the role in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was no different, his ride bristling with guns and heralding a Caped Crusader who’s stopped taking any shit. Now, we’re learning that Justice League was set to follow in these footsteps by giving Batman a.. uh.. floating motorbike?
The design was sketched out by concept artist Ed Natividad, who’s explained the idea (and why it was ditched) for Film Sketchr, saying:
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 However it was superseded in favor of the Knight Crawler.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.
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Of all the many things wrong with Justice League, the Knight Crawler wasn’t one of them. It reminded me a lot of the Bat-Tank in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns and its spider-like maneuverability made sense in the film’s action scenes, as well as giving the non-flying team members something to hang onto and launch themselves off.
While an anti-gravity motorcycle is pretty cool, it just doesn’t feel very Batman to me. Despite the fact that he’s going toe-to-toe with pan-dimensional monsters, he should have one foot firmly stuck in reality and a vehicle with more of a hefty physical presence helps that.
I also agree with Zack Snyder’s notion that it goes against the ‘team’ dynamic. Buried amongst the studio interference in Justice League is a story of a Batman trying to atone for his mistakes by working with others, with his technology allowing them to transport themselves around the planet and carry out that mission. And unless Aquaman wants to ride pillion, I just don’t see that happening with whatever this Batcycle would have looked like.