Update 12/07/15: I added video of Michael Wilkinson’s interview. It starts at the 49:56 mark.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice costume designer Michael Wilkinson attended CCXP – Comic Con Experience 2015 in Brazil this weekend, and he said a bunch of stuff about the movie that he shouldn’t have in an interview with Brazilian website Omelete. Be warned, there are some spoilers here, so read on if you choose.
- All the scenes involving “desert Batman”, like the sneak peek we got last week, are all just a dream that Bruce Wayne is having.
- The Flash (played by Ezra Miller) is in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and it’s Barry Allen.
Wilkinson also revealed some cool info about the movie and the DCEU that wouldn’t be considered spoilers.
- Justice League will shoot in London for 6 months. There will be 6 months of prep work prior to that.
- Batman has a lot of gadgets, but his intimidating strength is his real weapon.
- One of the Kryptonian phrases built into Superman’s suit translates to a quote by
Joseph Campbell: “Where we thought to stand alone, we will be with all the world”.
- There were many prototypes of the Batman cowl to make sure Ben Affleck could turn his head and move freely in the stunt scenes.
- The Flash is like an Olympic marathon runner. His body is shredded and lean, he’s not big and muscular like the other heroes.
And there’s even more from Wilkinson to digest. Check out the video above (starting at the 49:56 mark) or read the full transcript courtesy of Comic Book Movie below.
Omelete: What are you planning for the Justice League?
Michael Wilkinson: Well, I just started preparation on the Justice League. So, we’re shooting the film in London. I’m going to be there for a year. Six months of prepping, six months of shooting. And we have all sorts of fantastic actors that we’re bringing to London, all sorts of interesting universes. We’re looking forward to doing a whole new Justice League for the 21st century.
Omelete: Aquaman, different from the comics? Where did you get the idea?
MW: My inspiration for Aquaman is actually Jason Momoa, he was born to play Aquaman. And so, he has some fantastic tattoos of his own. And got my mind thinking about how to go in a really interesting new direction for the scales that we usually see on Aquaman, so we decided to do them with tattoos and with some cool armor. So, we had this whole plan for Aquaman in this universe and so we look forward to the next few years evolving this exciting DC universe.
Omelete: What about Batman? The batsuit, the bat armor? What were you thinking when you were making those costumes? What was the process?
MW: When I was talking to the director Zack Snyder, he really wanted to go back to how it’s being shown in the comic books cause when you think about Batman in the last twenty years from the films, it’s sort of really stepped away from the really simple, powerful, intimidating silhouette of Batman in the graphic novels, and so, we wanted to return to that and we wanted to do a Batman that’s a little bit older, he’s been fighting crime for twenty years on the big bad streets of Gotham and so his costume is shredded and it’s ripped and it’s torn. It’s distressed, it’s got bullet holes in it. We wanted to say, ‘this Batman doesn’t really need gadgets or armor,’ his intimidating strength is his real power. Incredible, burly silhouette is what really, and his incredible fighting skills of course, he doesn’t need the armor and the gadgets so much.
Omelete: One of the ideas I like from the comics about The Flash’s costume is just one red uniform and the bolt. There’s a sense of movement in the ears and all that. How do you translate that to the screen and to make it modern and different?
MW: Well, I’m not really at the liberty to talk about The Flash right now, but it’s something that you’ll be seeing in the future in our films. You do get a glimpse of him, of course, in Batman v Superman. But I’m really looking forward to taking the amazing, iconic costume for The Flash and interpreting it in a fresh way where Ezra Miller is playing The Flash. He’s an extraordinary performer, he has a sort of interesting sense of humor and the youth that will be great for Barry Allen and I think he’s going to make a great Flash.
MW: “It’s a different silhouette than the other ones and I think that’s what makes the Justice League so amazing. They all are different, together they are super strong, but they all have their own different fighting styles, their own different look, their own different physique. The Flash is more like an Olympic marathon runner or something like that. He’s shredded and he’s not as bulky and as huge as a lot of the other guys in the League.
Omelete: What about Wonder Woman? What was the main challenge to make her character, the look of the character not too sexy, but that of a warrior?
MW: That was the most important thing for us. We wanted her strength, her power to be tangible. We wanted her to stand next to the two male counterparts and be very much their equal. So, she brings something very different to the table and she has this incredible power and strength and she also combines that with a grace and a compassion and a majesty that makes her special. It makes her incredibly powerful. And working with the beautiful Gal Gadot was an absolute pleasure. She’s one person that’s as beautiful on the inside as she’s on the outside, so she made my job very easy.
Omelete: Is the Superman costume the same one from Man of Steel?
MW: It’s a little bit different. The amazing thing about working on these big franchise films is that everytime you do another, you get to make the costumes even more compelling and more exciting. The one thing I love about my job is that we get to explore new costume technologies and new ways of making costumes. Two years later, there’s new materials, new digital technologies. We use a lot of 3D printing and we scan our actors and we build costumes in the computer.
MW: So, with the Superman costume, we have a new material. The suit is a little bit more sheer, so you really get the sense of this metal undersuit coming through the blue oversuit and we have a new fabric for the cape. And, also, Zack wanted to include a Joseph Campbell quote in the suit, so there’s a quote from Joseph Campbell: ‘Where we thought to stand alone, we will be with all the world‘ and we decided to translate that into Kryptonian and we put it through the ‘S’ on his chest, through his cuffs, his belt, through his bicep, just to give a little extra something for the fan with very sharp vision to appreciate.
Omelete: What about Batman’s cowl? Seems like the fabric allows more movement?
MW: That was something that was important to Zack. He wanted something that Ben could move in, something he could do all his amazing fight moves in. The choreography was extremely complex like all Zack Snyder stunt sequences. We wanted to have a Batsuit that he could look over his shoulder and do all of these moves. That was very important to us. There’s a lot of engineering in the cowl of the Batsuit. We did many, many prototypes with different materials, different shapes. We really wanted the sense that we have the musculature of Ben sorting of coming through the cowl, so we didn’t know where the cowl finished and the actor started, so it was really a part of him. And so we found a great material to do that with. The movement was great and I think it was reasonably comfortable.
Omelete: What about the nightmare Batman? It’s a different uniform than the Batman we are seeing here?
MW: “It is a different look. Zack had a great idea of this sort of nightmare-ish vision, almost a vision of the future, a post-apocalyptic vision. It’s like a dream that Ben has, so we wanted to, it has almost a Mad Max quality to it where it’s like the end of the world, trying to survive and then of course Superman and his minions come, so it’s sort of a way of representing the amazing amounts of, the sort of obsessive quality that Bruce Wayne has about the threat of Superman. In this film, Superman, of course he’s normally seen as a figure of hope, a positive thing, but in this film, his motivations, the consequences of his actions are really being questioned by the world. Is he a savior? Or is he a dangerous alien with unknown intentions? And this becomes an obsession for Bruce Wayne. And he really wants to sort it out. So, it’s manifested in this sort of incredible dream that Zack decided to create.
“This film takes place about 8 months after Man Of Steel. This cataclysmic event at the end of Man of Steel. And now we’re in a world where the consequences of that event are being processed. Many people were killed in that event and a lot of people see Superman as being responsible for those deaths. And that’s something we deal with in this film. It’s the nature of power, the responsibility that comes with having this incredible superpowers. It’s a film that’s not only an amazing summer blockbuster with incredible action scenes, but it’s also about ideas and I think that’s what’s going to make it such an appealing film for people.