Since he sprang from the pages of DC Comics onto the big screen, Batman has been put through the extreme makeover mill more than any other superhero. From his cartoony 1960s version, via Tim Burton’s brooding 1989 effort and Joel Schumacher’s high-camp Caped Crusader, he’s always looked striking, but rarely cool. Until Christopher Nolan came along, that is.
With Batman Begins in 2005, Nolan revolutionised the look and feel of Batman’s universe, redesigning everything about the world’s greatest detective from the ground up. Here’s how he did it…
Logo and teasers
‘Eagerly anticipated’ might be the understatement of the year when it comes to The Dark Knight Rises, but that doesn’t mean Christopher Nolan didn’t indulge in a bit of viral marketing just to make us even more impatient. When the teaser trailer hit – over a year ago, believe it or not – it did two things: get us all very, very excited, and introduce the new logo.
If the fresh start of Batman Begins was reflected in the sharp corners of a newly-forged Batarang, and The Dark Knight a back-lit spectacle as Gotham’s finest stepped into the limelight, the new logo indicated something altogether more menacing: a broken bat.
As teaser images began to filter through, the full scope of Nolan’s vision for the final instalment of the trilogy began to form. Ignition Creative’s designs are dark and delicious, beautiful pieces that are linked by a single thread – the image of a shattered Batman and the destruction of Gotham. We’ve got chills…
For comic fans, there are few more desirable items of clothing than the Bat-Suit. Part canny camouflage, part high-tech suit of armour, it’s a thing of beauty.
Since Batman Begins, costume designer Lindy Hemming has kept the Bat-Suit grounded in reality, in line with Christopher Nolan’s real-world spin on the Dark Knight.
The slash-resistant body armour and headpiece from Batman Begins quickly gave way to a heavier duty version in The Dark Knight, where the stakes were higher and the bad guys more dangerous. Kevlar plates and the ability to move the headpiece gave Batman more of a fighting chance against the Joker, and boy did he need it.
The suit, which makes a reappearance in The Dark Knight Rises, is a far cry from the blue and yellow design of the 60s TV show. In reality, the 14kg costume is made from semi-flexible Urethane-molded pieces, suspended on a polyester mesh called 3D spacer mesh, which is sold to the military as a neoprene replacement.