To date, there have been 9 different versions of the Batmobile created for live-action films or television (or both, in the case of the BATMAN ’66 Batmobile). In honor of the reveal of the latest incarnation of the Batmobile on film — for director Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN starring Robert Pattinson — let’s take a look back at The Dark Knight’s rides over the years.
THE BATMAN (1943)
The first Batmobile on film — or a movie serial, actually — had no Bat-motif and was actually a 1939 Cadillac Series 75 convertible. Not only did Batman use it, but it was also Bruce Wayne’s personal car!
BATMAN AND ROBIN (1949)
Batman returned to the silver screen in 1949 and tooled around the streets of Gotham City in a Ford’s 1949 Mercury Convertible. Again the car doubled as both the Batmobile and Bruce Wayne’s car — depending on whether the top was up or down!
The first “real” live-action Batmobile was built for the 1960s BATMAN TV series (1966-68) and the BATMAN ’66 movie. George Barris built the car from a Ford 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car, which was never sold publicly.
The Batmobile that probably sticks in the mind of most folks of what the “Batmobile” looks like — at least the “modern” version of it — comes from director Tim Burton’s BATMAN starring Michael Keaton. Designed by Anton Furst, turned the 60s version on its head and gave it a sleeker look and darker vibe.
This same Batmobile returned in the B89‘s sequel, BATMAN RETURNS, in 1992.
BATMAN FOREVER (1995)
With a new Batman in Val Kilmer (replacing Michael Keaton) and a soft-reboot of the series, BATMAN FOREVER gave us a new Batmobile too.
Designed by Barbara Ling, the Batmobile from BATMAN FOREVER was both similar — cockpit and the long/slim design — different — more Bat-logos/motifs and the vented panels on the body.
BATMAN & ROBIN (1997)
Despite the fact that there was yet again a new Batman in George Clooney, BATMAN & ROBIN was a continuation of BATMAN FOREVER and gave us another Batmobile since The Riddler had destroyed the last one in the previous film.
Designed by Barbara Ling, the B&R Batmobile was 30 feet long and featured an open-air cockpit ala the 1960s BATMAN TV series.
THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY (2005-2012)
Designed by director Christopher Nolan and production designer Nathan Crowley, the first film in THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY — BATMAN BEGINS — debuted a gritty, grounded, and “realistic” version of the Batmobile known as “The Tumbler.”
Created by Wayne Enterprises as a military vehicle, the Tumbler was more of a tank than a car.
Destroyed by The Joker in THE DARK KNIGHT, the Tumbler had a built-in escape vehicle included in its design — the Batpod — which was featured in TDK and THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.
Click here for more about THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY.
BATMAN v SUPERMAN/JUSTICE LEAGUE (2016-2017)
While sleeker than its direct predecessor, the Batmobile featured in BATMAN v SUPERMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE (with a cameo in SUICIDE SQUAD), Batfleck’s ride had more in common with the Tumbler than it did with any of the Burton/Schumacher Batmobiles.
Oh yeah, it had machine guns mounted to on the front hood.
THE BATMAN (2021)
Not much is known about the latest incarnation of the Batmobile on film other than it was designed by Ash Thorpe and appears to be based on an American muscle car. Additionally, it appears that the big motor on the back of it is shaped like a bat!
We’ll learn more about when directly Matt Reeves’ THE BATMAN starring Robert Pattinson in the title role hits theaters on June 25, 2021.
THE BATMAN is currently filming in the UK. Follow BOF’s Everything About THE BATMAN Page. Make plans to attend BOF’s THE BATMAN Watch Party. THE BATMAN hits theaters on June 25, 2021. – Bill “Jett” Ramey