Over the weekend, Kevin Smith hosted a Q&A for the release of Man of Steel on Blu-ray and DVD. After it was over, director Zack Snyder showed the filmmaker and podcast host a photo of Ben Affleck in his new Batsuit for Batman Vs. Superman. Being the very talkative person that he is, Smith immediately went on his Hollywood Babble-On show and revealed this.
Batman's new suit: Is it more influenced by Jim Lee or Frank Miller?
"I saw the Batman costume. More than that I saw a picture of him (Ben Affleck) in the costume. Now, I don't want to give anything away 'cause that is up to them and stuff, but I am going to say this, I instantly bear hugged him (Zack Snyder). You have not seen this costume in a movie on film before, and for a comic book fan it was mind bending. I was like 'Get out of here, only you have enough power to pull this off.' Because everyone always like does this The Matrix/X-Men black armor...It was fantastic. I'm already a flag waver for this movie, but the costume, it blew my mind. I think everyone is just gonna be like 'Holy ****!' It's its own thing, man. It's like we haven't been down this path at all. I was so elated....Even the hardest core "**** all this" person will be like 'alright, I'm ready.'"
He then dropped a huge spoiler that he later bleeped.
"It seemed like it was very [BEEEEEP] influenced."
It has now come to light by one of the audience members in attendance that the influence, thought to be Frank Miller, is actually Jim Lee and his iconic grey, blue and yellow Batsuit.
This of course has not been confirmed. Many think that the screenplay by Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer is being based on Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, which was adapted into a two-part animated feature earlier this year. It, too, features Batman in a blue and grey suit, albeit with some impressive exoskeleton armor enhanced by Kryptonite.
When Man of Steel was in production, Zack Snyder released an official photo of Henry Cavill in his Superman suit to appease eager fans and to insure set photos didn't give off the wrong idea. The same will inevitably happen with Batman. While we wait for that moment, which might not happen until early 2014, we take a look at five of the possible Batsuits that might make an appearance in the film.
1 Batman by Jim Lee
The case is pretty strong that Batman's suit in Batman Vs. Superman will be based on this classic grey, blue/black and yellow costume that hasn't seen a screen since Adam West donned it for the ill fated Legends of the Superheroes TV mini-series in 1979. Jim Lee was able to take the signature Batman costume and really make it sing on the page, and it's a suit we haven't ever seen in a modern big screen movie (1966's Batman, based on the TV series, doesn't count). Probably because it has been considered a little too 'comic booky' for the modern era of the genre. It does not contain any black armor, unless you count the boots and gloves. This look will bring something new to the film as promised, while remaining iconic and true to the original Detective Comics.
When Kevin Smith's comments about the costume first started making the rounds, everyone immediately thought he was talking about the suit of armor Batman wears in this classic graphic novel. Its believed, especially because of its current unconfirmed title, that Batman and Superman will be coming to blows in this follow-up to Man of Steel. Many think the film will follow a similar story arc, as found in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. And it's only a fair fight if Bruce Wayne has some sort of special aid, like his exo-armor seen here. This too is a grey and blue/black suit that adheres to the classic Batman look. Which ever style Zack Snyder is leaning towards, its more than likely to be set wihin this color scheme.
3 Batman Incorporated by David Finch
This particular suit seems to incorporate the best of both worlds. We get a costume that is a little bit Jim Lee while dipping slightly into Christopher Nolan territory. It still upholds the grey and black aesthetic, while bringing a touch of the armor look that is so prevalent in comic book movies of this generation. It also allows for flexibility and dexterity, something none of the previous movie suits could offer. Even in The Dark Knight Rises, Christian Bale had a heck of a time moving comfortably in that big slab of black runner. This particular suit fits in with the look and feel that has already been established by Zack Snyder with his Kal-El suit in Man of Steel. And the yellow chest badge and belt offer a perfect throwback to a more golden age era in storytelling. The problem with this suit is, it's still a little too close to Christopher Nolan's ideas for the character, which the film is trying to escape.
4 Flashpoint by Andy Kubert
Again, like Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, this comic book arc got its own animated feature film in Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox just a few months ago. It's hard to discern how much DC and Warner Bros. want to dip into what their doing on the animation side of things for their cinematic universe, and this direct-to-video movie just came out. So this suit is highly unlikely, though very different from anything we've ever seen on screen before. And its a noted fan favorite. It was worn by an alternate universe Bruce Wayne. The interesting thing about this is...Some truly believe that Zack Snyder's Man of Steel also takes place in an alternate universe. It's a neat idea, but mainstream audiences aren't ready, and probably far from willing, to delve into such rich comic book text. In Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Batman is not Bruce Wayne, but instead Thomas Wayne, who is looking to avenge the death of his son. That seems like a ridiculous spin to take here, in a movie. Though, the red on the belt and badge does add a nice change of pace for the iconic grey costume. It might be a little too much for Batman Vs. Superman, however much they claim they want to reinvent the character. Its almost a guaranteed fact that we will be getting Bruce, not Thomas, Wayne in our upcoming sequel.
5 Batman: Noel by Lee Bermejo
Again, we have the grey and black motif that will likely be utilized in Batman Vs. Superman. The all-leather design is practical for a modern day superhero movie, and maybe a tad more maneuverable than Nolan-esque armor. The material choice could be worked into the costume, but Zack Snyder likes color. There's no doubt that a little bit of yellow will find its way into the suit (be it via a belt or chest badge), especially since it works on the nostalgia of a golden age. The story here is a reimagining of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, which we won't likely see on the big screen any time soon. Could the movie take place during the holidays? Well, Iron Man 3 already did that. The interesting thing about the Noel costume is that early reports suggest Zack Snyder is leaning towards the design of this particular cowl. That brings us to one fact...
Its obvious that Zack Snyder is going for a grey and black outfit with possible yellow overtones. But looking at all of the above costume choices, it seems that he will be pulling influences out of a number of different designs for something that is both new and iconic at the same time. And like Jor-El's suit, it will surely be something that is unique to this particular movie. Hence the 'influenced' by tease dropped by Kevin Smith. He didn't say it was an exact replica of anything. We'll likely get a mishmash of all suits combined.
Batman Vs. Superman comes to theaters May 6th, 2016 and stars Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons. The film is directed by Zack Snyder.