With Robert Pattinson’s new film The Batman finally hitting theaters, we get to a fresh take on DC Comics’ caped crusader. Every Batman reboot includes a fresh take one of the most famous cars: the batmobile. But the inspiration for the latest new batmobile surprised us.
Robert Pattinson’s Bruce Wayne built his batmobile himself
Robert Pattinson (Twilight, Tenet) is a relatively young actor to play Bruce Wayne/Batman. Therefore, 2022’s The Batman will likely depict him near the beginning of his crime-fighting carer. He is still learning the ropes (and grappling hooks), and he is perfecting his gadgets–including his batmobile.
It makes sense that this latest batmobile is a bit rough around the edges. Set photos and trailers show a batmobile like nothing we’ve seen on screen in decades. The vehicle might have started out life as a 1960s muscle car but has been highly modified. With its battering-ram front end, the car would be at home in Mad Max or Death Race.
The final vehicle’s stingray-style front and rear fenders are reminiscent of a Corvette or Camaro. They lend the car a batwing effect. But its fastback rear window is more akin to a Mustang than a Camaro.
Finally, this batmobile has a wide rear deck, split open for a rear engine, echoing the mid-engine Charger custom-built for Fast and Furious 9. If this batmobile began life as a real car, Jalopnik’s money is on a MOPAR E-body (Dodge Charger/Plymouth Barracuda).
This batmobile’s massive tires and beadlock rims look a bit out of place on such a low car. In addition, it has sidesteps like a lifted truck and looks much taller in some trailers. We suspect it has adjustable suspension like some new trucks.
Empire Magazine interviewed Pattinson for its February issue. The new Batman revealed of the latest batmobile, “There’s this kind of tangibility to it,” because, “Bruce built it himself.”
Warner Bros’ official prequel novel to The Batman expands on this story: an orphaned Bruce Wayne discovered an old muscle car as a teenager, got into street racing, and has been modifying it ever since. Cool!
The latest batmobile is inspired by Stephen King’s ‘Christine’
Empire Magazine also interviewed The Batman director, Matt Reeves (Cloverfield, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). For his first superhero movie, Reeves is tossing the traditional action/adventure genre for something grittier. For this reason, he needed the batmobile to play a major role.
Reeves said he saw “the car itself as a horror figure.” What he meant is that it needed to have “an animalistic appearance to really scare the hell out of the people Batman’s pursuing.”
This explains the stringray fins, the haunchy stance, and possibly the adjustable ride height. Many have also noticed the glowing red lights at the front of Reeves’ batmobile. Some have drawn parallels to Knight Rider, but there is another explanation. Reeves said the thought of his new batmobile, “almost like Stephen King’s Christine.”
A possessed batmobile? Will the antihero batman actually be the villain of the new movie? We’ll have to wait for The Batman to hit theaters to find out.
“It has to make an appearance out of the shadows to intimidate, so I thought of it almost like Stephen King’s Christine. I liked the idea of the car itself as a horror figure, making an animalistic appearance to really scare the hell out of the people Batman’s pursuing. There is absolutely a horror-genre aspect to this movie.”Matt Reeves, director
This newest batmobile will feature some classic gadgets
Recent Batman films featured some distinct batmobiles. Director Christover Nolan focused on the Wayne family’s defense contractor past; he put Christian Bale in the unforgettable Tumbler. Zack Snyder placed Ben Affleck’s Batman in a low-slung gullwing car with engine and tires straight off a Raptor.
Reeves is going in a different, but not uncharted direction. The swooping fenders and muscle car style is more reminiscent of the 1960s Batman TV show starring Adam West. West’s Batman drove a modified 1955 Ford Lincoln Futura.
One gadget every single batmobile shares is a sort of jet-propulsion thruster. Even the gritty-realistic Tumbler had a thruster for emergencies. The Reeves/Pattinson batmobile will be no exception.
A distinct feature of the new batmobile is its huge rear engine, in place of a trunk. This turbocharged unit looks to be a V8–or larger. Possibly the Ford Triton V10.
The engine has exhaust headers that converge in a huge four inch exit. What look to be propane nozzles ring this exit. In the trailer, this afterburner creates a long tail of flame.
Confusingly, the new batmobile also has hood pins and small side-exit exhaust pipes up front. Is there another engine in front? Again, we’ll have to watch the movie to find out.
Learn more about the history of the Batmobile in the video below: