Posted on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
As you might expect, Batman will get a bunch of new vehicles, technology and even a new suit in the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice follow-up Justice League. Join me as we take a look at these new additions and also explore all the cool bits that just didn’t fit in the rest of our set visit coverage. That includes:
- What happened to Superman?
- Is this film being shot in IMAX?
- Who is scoring the movie?
- Could we see a Suicide Squad crossover in this film?
- How will Ben Affleck‘s solo Batman film might connect with this movie?
- Why did Warner Bros release that Batman v Superman deleted scene right after opening weekend?
…and much more!
The Night Crawler
The most impressive of the additions is probably the Night Crawler, a new off-road four-wheel drive vehicle that can traverse areas that might be inaccessible to the Batmobile. Think of it like a tank that has four tread wheels, that can morph into a spider-like configuration. On all fours, the vehicle is 25-30 feet in height, and the legs can puncture into almost any surface. In Justice League the vehicle is used in a sequence which takes place in an abandoned tunnel which was being constructed in the 1930s to connect Gotham City to Metropolis. This is a vehicle completely new to the Batman universe. Storyline-wise, the vehicle was created by Wayne Technology for the military in the 1960s and adopted by Batman for his needs.
Producer Deborah Snyder reveals:
There’s a great action set piece that takes place in it. And it’s pretty hard to get the Batmobile through there, so it’s nice to have the Crawler which kind of can maneuver.
In the war room we saw concept art of Batman driving the Night Crawler while it was firing a flamethrower at a parademon, which should give us a tease as to what to expect. They constructed the cockpit of the Night Crawler which was filmed on a gimbal, but the rest will be created using CG. Production designer Patrick Tatopoulos says that he approached the Night Crawler more like a fork lift or a piece of construction equipment. Back to Deborah Snyder:
And then not only do we have the Crawler, if you’re gonna have a whole Justice League, we have to find a way to transport them. So we have the Flying Fox. It fits all of them, but it also can fit a vehicle in it, so we can bring the Batmobile into the Flying Fox. That will be a set that we’ll be building, but we haven’t gotten there yet.
The Flying Fox
Batman has unearthed an old Wayne Technologies project and retrofitted it to be used as their plane. Imagine this as something, in Avengers terms, which is not as huge as a Helicarrier but much bigger than the Quinjet. The plane has three levels. The bottom houses the Batmobile, has seats on the wall, and has a ramp that lowers. The second has a wall armory of weapons and a cockpit/gunner in the front where Batman (or Alfred in one piece of concept art) controls the weapons. The main cockpit seats two people and is situated at the back of the third level, giving this plane a much different look from many of the other flying vehicles in superhero films.
It’s big enough for the Batmobile and it can house other of the Bat gadgets. It’s definitely its own self contained, fantastic piece of equipment.
We saw a bunch of concept art of the Flying Fox, although it seems like the name has evolved over time. It was labeled as “the bat jet” on the concept art from February 2016, and as “the troop carrier” in October 2015.
Other New Gadgets and a Modified Batmobile
Roven teases that “the Bat tech that we’ll introduce in this one isn’t just big stuff.”
It’s also, gadgets that you’ve seen, but also new things. Batman will have more than one Batsuit that he’s continually modifying for the adventures that are gonna be had in this film. As well as he continues to modify the Batmobile to make it more weaponized for the battles that he think he might be facing.
When asked about a piece of concept for the Flash that says “Wayne Tech,” Deborah Snyder responds, “It’s safe to say that I think Alfred and Bruce are building a lot of tech that helps them all. And I think you’ll see a lot more of that.”
Batman will have two different Batsuits in this film. The classic Batsuit is a slightly tweaked version of the one from BvS, although you might not notice any changes. Some new armor plates are hidden underneath the mesh carbon fiber weave of the suit and features more graphic seaming and a tweaked cowl. The blades on his forearm gloves are sharper and a bit more aggressive looking.
Alfred and Bruce develop an advanced suit in the “final chapter” of this story to fit the needs of the mission. This suit isn’t going to be used in filming for another two months so we only got to see a very early prototype of it alongside concept art. Described as “the tactical Batsuit,” it looks very much like the classic Batsuit augmented with straps and layers of leather and protective plates. A new cowl allows for flight goggles which he’ll wear when piloting a new vehicle. The straps look more military grade. I don’t love it. The cowl offers more protection in this story. It’s been implied inside the cowl there is a whole sub-membrane that is now expressed outside the cowl. Also, Snyder has embraced non-symmetry, giving Batman extra protection on one arm over another, making the uniform look more individualized and battle-worn like a warrior’s.
Where Is Superman?
But how does Superman fit into this story? At the end of Batman v Superman, the Man of Steel is dead and buried. No one wanted to talk about Superman during our visit to the set — not the filmmakers, not the producer, not the costume or production designers. When asked about Superman, producer Deborah Snyder admits, “Well, obviously Superman is part of the Justice League.”
And we know where we ended up with him. And there wouldn’t be a Justice League without Superman. But I think his way back to us we don’t want to really spoil that. But he’s here. He’s back there.
She points to a wall in the war room that shows Henry Cavill‘s headshot among the film’s lead cast. The only other reference to Superman we saw on the visit was one concept art painting of the whole Justice League team standing in heroic pose that included Superman. He didn’t look much different than he did in the past two films, and I’m not entirely sure the concept painting wasn’t just to imagine what the team would look like together — it didn’t appear to be a specific scene from this film.
We know that there wouldn’t be a Justice League without him. But let’s keep it fresh, let’s keep out how that all happens and what happens in the movie.
Later when talking about the evolution of Superman over his series of films, director Zack Snyder stops himself and says, “And I’m not saying he shows up in this movie…” But this is the same filmmaker who very consciously ended BvS with the dirt moving above Superman’s casket. Snyder admits, “Yes, very consciously!” When someone jokingly asks what his hair will look like when he returns, Snyder laughs and says “Should be perfect, a little longer I guess! That’s what the myths are anyway.” When another journalist nudges him further, asking, “Is he not supposed to be a part of this stage of it?” Snyder responds:
I feel like the idea of it is to — yeah, well, I guess that’s part of the story. If he does appear, I think that that would be a big part of the story, right?
We watched them film scene #100 and Superman was nowhere to be seen. Films like this typically have 220-260 scenes, which probably means we won’t see Superman in the first half of the movie. And if I were to guess, he won’t join the film until late into the movie. Its funny — when I saw BvS, I thought the ending was kind of bold but stupid. Killing Superman is an unexpected way to end the movie, but I couldn’t imagine Warner Bros. promoting Justice League without including Superman in the trailers or marketing. But maybe I was wrong.
And let’s continue with some more rapid fire bits we learned while on set.