‘The Batman’ production designer breaks down the Batmobile
The Batman production designer James Chinlund has revealed that the concept for the Batmobile came from a note he received directly from writer/director Matt Reeves.
According to Variety, Chinlund was encouraged to create a vehicle that was both “relentless” and “motivated by a mission.”
Attached to the project from its inception, Chinlund worked in tandem with Reeves to develop all aspects of a foreboding yet accessible rendition of Gotham City. Together, they envisioned a new Batmobile to navigate its grungy terrain.
At first, the pair were unsure about what kind of vehicle it would take. But as Reeves fleshed out the character of Bruce Wayne, it became obvious that it had to be a car.
A foundational aspect of the new version of the Batmobile is the idea that the car would be Bruce Wayne’s invention, something he engineered by himself as a reflection of his new identity. Therefore, it had to be rugged because, as Chinlund puts it, they were designing a car for a lone wolf vigilante, not “James Bond.”
With all these factors in mind, he crafted a brawny, powerful vehicle that still manages to stay true to its muscular predecessors. The new Batmobile emphasizes utility over glamour, boasting a reinforced steel chassis and bumper. In keeping with the practical theme of the design, Chinlund decided not to fortify the rear of the vehicle, leaving its engine exposed.
The Batman is far from the first Chinlund and Reeves collaboration. They have previously worked together on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) and War for Planet of the Apes (2018).