By on March 5, 2020

If the recent filmic handling of DC’s comic-book franchises is anything to go by, there’s little reason to presume the next Batman movie will be a good one. After releasing a trilogy of enjoyable bat films, Warner Bros. seems to have settled into some of the worst entertainment currently available at your local cinema or home streaming service — whether it be related to the Dark Knight or linked to some other DC character. The only noteworthy exception from the past eight years was 2019’s Joker, a film that was panned in the media for months before ultimately garnering critical acclaim and an Oscar win for Joaquin Phoenix’s complicated portrayal of the villain.

Little is known about 2021’s The Batman, other than the titular character being played by Robert Pattinson and the film leaning into a more realistic portrayal of his tech. While that hasn’t done much to pique our interest by itself, it has done wonders for the new Batmobile. It’s probably the most down-to-earth vehicle we’ve seen the caped crusader drive since Adam West piloted a modified Lincoln Futura in the campy 1960s comedy series. If movie cars are any measure of a film’s overall greatness (they are), perhaps this will be a decent flick after all. 

Director Matt Reeves shared images of the new Batmobile on Wednesday, instantly setting the internet on fire. While the car doesn’t out itself as any particular model like West’s ride (though the Futura was never more than a concept), it does resemble a vintage muscle car on steroids. Due to the liberal amount of chopping that’s taken place, we can’t tell you what the automobile was before going beneath the knife.

The front gives off Chrysler B-body vibes while the rear-mounted engine and ludicrously wide track suggests this car probably had a truck bed at one time. At first blush, it doesn’t look very bat-like. But you’ll notice the rear haunches, necessary for housing the massive back tires, resemble the fins seen on other cars used by Bruce Wayne. The motor looks to be a V10 (maybe Ford’s Triton) and appears to have a jet turbine installed smack dab in the middle. While that brings up several impossible-to-answer questions about its assembly, it does adhere to the Batman trope of needing a ride that can belch flames.

Hopefully the vehicle’s stellar design signals the amount of attention given to the rest of the film. It’s definitely something we’ve never seen before. With the exception of the first two Batman serials — where he rode around in an unmodified 1939 Cadillac Series 61 before swapping into a stock 1949 Mercury — this may be the only time the Dark Knight has had a car that wouldn’t have required heaps of outside help.

We know Wayne is rich, but ordering body panels molded into bat wings and jet engines is bound to draw unwanted attention. Since this story is supposed to showcase Batman’s first attempt at being a vigilante (depicting him using more DIY hardware to fight crime), perhaps we’ll see him wrenching on the car himself with Lucius Fox unwittingly participating in the construction. An extended build scene bleeding in to a twenty minute car chase sounds ideal. We’ll see how the director handles things. Multiple bat vehicles are expected in this flick, so time could be split between the Batmobile and its motorcycle counterpart.

So long as there’s a meaningful amount of screen time for both, we’ll tamp down expectations for the plot (something we’ve done for the entire Fast and Furious franchise). The act of delving into The Batman after the car appeared on social media makes your author think we probably won’t have to.

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