The Batman costume designers Glyn Dillon and David Crossman discuss Robert Pattinson’s utilitarian Batsuit and focus on function over fashion.
The Batman’s costume designers break down their approach to Robert Pattinson’s practical and unique Batsuit design. Directed by Matt Reeves, The Batman opened to critical and audience acclaim in March 2022 thanks to its gritty noir-like take on the iconic character. From the time that the first details of the film were revealed, Pattinson’s Batsuit was the subject of much discussion, managing to stand out among the many past takes on the costume.
In an interview with Deadline, The Batman costume designers Glyn Dillon and David Crossman broke down how The Batman’s super practical Batsuit design came to be. They explained Reeves expressed a desire for the Batsuit to be “utilitarian,” preferring function over fashion. With this in mind, Dillon and Crossman made the cape turn into a wingsuit, while the bat symbol doubled as a blade. The cape was made out of Japanese faux leather to add weight, and the suit was crafted using nylon to simulate bulletproof Kevlar. Read what Dillon had to say about the creation of Pattinson’s Batsuit below:
Matt definitely wanted the suit to be utilitarian, and importantly, it had to be a suit that Robert could move and fight in. Practicality and mobility were the main concerns… For instance, his utility belt in the comics is yellow or gold and that’s carried through to most of the films, but we liked the idea that he would use stuff that cops would use, leather ammo packs and handcuff holders etc… it feels much closer to ‘Special Forces’ than Spandex.
Why Pattinson’s Utilitarian Batsuit Was Perfect For The Batman
It makes sense that Reeves and his team opted for a more practical take on the Batsuit, as The Batman itself adopts a utilitarian approach overall. Matching Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, The Batman as a whole prefers function over fashion. But Reeves’ film somehow takes it one step further in making The Batman full of grit and applying a whole new level of pragmatism to its characters, design, and story.
That being said, it could be argued the scope of The Batman’s plot is also less grand, more so grounded in realism, focusing on the detective work done in Gotham. While this may change with the sequels, this first Batman film by Reeves plays off more like a murder mystery inspired by Seven with undertones of political intrigue within the crime families of Gotham. And rather than making the third act about Batman having to save his city from a grand terrorist plot, which involves the water system, Reeves makes a bold decision in The Riddler planning a mass shooting, horror much closer to reality. The grounded, pragmatic Batsuit is a perfect fit here.
There’s no doubt that Batman and Catwoman have each gone through their fair share of trauma, and the costume design for the characters pulls off the hard, subtle task of telling their story. It’s this that makes the costume design a perfect fit for the film. From Catwoman’s weathered jumpsuit to the meticulously crafted, all-function Batsuit, all the costumes in The Batman fit the grounded, worn-in aesthetic Reeves was likely going for.
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