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Building a batsuit: Ben Affleck’s Batman costume is ‘a total reinvention’

Will Perkins
Wide Screen
January 21, 2014

Caped crimefighter Batman has had no shortage of costumes over the years. With almost a century of comic book history, numerous TV shows (both live action and animated), countless video games and nine feature films, the look of the Dark Knight’s batsuit has changed more than any other modern superhero. And by the sound of it, Ben Affleck’s Batman will be getting yet another makeover for the upcoming “Batman vs. Superman” movie.

“Dallas Buyers Club” star Jennifer Garner - wife of current Bruce Wayne/Batman actor Ben Affleck - revealed to Entertainment Tonight that she’s seen the new batsuit and was pretty blown away by it.

“The suit is unbelievably cool,” Garner said. “It's a total reinvention - It looks great!”

The actress also added that she’d probably have a very hard time getting her husband out of the batsuit, indicating that much like other recent iterations of the costume the new version is probably fairly labour intensive to put on and take off. That's not a whole lot to go on for Bat-fans, but the word “reinvention” does indicate that the new batsuit will probably be unlike the military-inspired armour worn by Christian Bale in Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” trilogy.

Garner’s comments echo what Affleck's pal, filmmaker Kevin Smith said after seeing the new Batman costume late last year.

"You have not seen this costume in a movie on film before,” Smith said on his Hollywood Babble-On podcast in November. "Everyone always does this f---ing ‘Matrix’ / “X-Men” black armor thing."

Smith added that casual and hardcore fans alike will be happy with the direction Zack Snyder and company have gone with this version of Batman.

So the suit is going to be different, but what does that mean? What type of Batman can audiences expect to see when the still untitled “Man of Steel” sequel hits theatres next year?

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Word on the fanboy street is that the leading batsuit candidate is akin to the version seen in Lee Bermejo’s acclaimed 2011 graphic novel “Batman: Noël” - A tightly stitched mostly leather get-up with short ears and pointed shoulders. It’s unlike the rubber, muscle-toned, or bulletproof vest-looking outfits that big screen Batman’s have been wearing since the late 1980s and fits with director Snyder’s grounded-but-highly stylized vision of the DC Comics universe.

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Another popular option is the broad and bulky black and grey batsuit envisioned by Frank Miller in his essential graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns.” The story features an older Bruce Wayne, a conflict between Batman and Superman, and is being used as the primary inspiration for Snyder’s upcoming film. That alone makes it a likely contender as far as batsuits go, but also because it - like the “Batman: Noël” costume - hasn’t been seen on the big screen before.

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Then there’s something like the ultra high-tech “Batman Beyond.” A future successor to the modern day Batman, the batsuit seen in the “Batman Beyond” animated series and comic books is filled to the brim with gadgets, computers, and weaponry, and can allows the hero to fly. It’s more like Tony Stark’s powered Iron Man armor than anything the Caped Crusader, and exactly the sort of thing billionaire Bruce Wayne might need to go toe-to-toe against Superman. It would be a complete departure from any cinematic Batman moviegoers have seen in the past.

In all likelihood, Ben Affleck’s Batman will look like some combination of all three aforementioned batsuits. Snyder’s past work indicates he likes the stylistic flairs of the “Batman: Noël” costume (just look at General Zod’s ornate Kryptonian armour), “The Dark Knight Returns” is also a clear influence on the film, and everyone loves “Iron Man,” right? Why not use the “Batman Beyond” idea to give Stark’s billionaire playboy comic book counterpart Bruce Wayne some similar toys to play with?

The "Man of Steel" sequel recently had its release date pushed back to May 6, 2016.

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