Matt Reeves Wanted The Batman's Batmobile To Be Like 'Something Out Of A David Lynch Movie'

Film fans, stop me if you've heard this one: 'It was like something from a David Lynch movie.' The "Blue Velvet" filmmaker's deep, dark cinematic tone has been referenced half to death in recent years. The word "Lynchian" has been widely tossed around to describe everything from horror video games to trippy music videos to the CW's genre-bending teen melodrama "Riverdale." Now, it's happening again, and this time the potentially Lynchian object in mind is the Batmobile in Matt Reeves' "The Batman."

The comparison in question comes via James Field's new book "The Art of The Batman." Weirder than the fact that a superhero's car would be compared to the works of one of our best surrealist directors? The fact that the comparison actually kind of makes sense.

"What was important to me was that when Batman appears in the movie, he materializes out of the shadows," Reeves says in an interview for the book, referencing the scene in which we first see the Caped Crusader knock some heads. He goes on to explain that Bruce Wayne's signature vehicle is intended to appear much the same way:

"It was important that the Batsuit, like something out of a David Lynch movie, would grow like a terrifying apparition out of the darkness, and yet when you finally looked at it up close, you saw the seams, the stitching, a sense of how it was created. I wanted the same thing with the car, as it had exactly the same purpose. Why would you have a Batmobile? The point of The Batmobile, other than looking super cool in the movie, is to intimidate, to create terror."

From the darkness

Although Reeves doesn't cite any specific Lynch films, it's easy to imagine what he's getting at. Think of Lynch, and you'll no doubt think about a specific, jolting image becoming ever more shocking as it's revealed in its entirety. Lynch has created several "apparitions out of the darkness," from the haunting and malevolent "Twin Peaks" spirit BOB (Frank Silva) to the nightmare figure behind the diner in "Mulholland Drive." These dream-like appearances both strike a primal chord of terror among audiences, and according to Reeves, the Batmobile entrance was meant to do the same.

"I wanted the movie to be like a horror film in that sense," Reeves says, explaining that the car's first shadowy appearance is meant to parallel Batman's in a vital way. Lynch also isn't the only horror master he pulled from the create the scene. "There's a Stephen King story that John Carpenter made into a movie years ago called 'Christine,'" Reeves shares, "And I talked [to the crew] about how the car in that story was like a terrifying beast. Our Batmobile had to feel like a monster emerging from darkness." The filmmaker worked with director of photography Greig Fraser to get the scene just right, planning the sequence's lighting design with models before moving on to the real deal.

When the famous jet black car finally appears, it's a sputtering beast of a thing, all revving engines and flaming exhaust. Surely, audiences won't look at it and think of "Eraserhead," but that's not the point. Just like Batman on Halloween, it makes a looming, powerful entrance, adding to the horror-tinged atmosphere of the darkest Batman movie yet.