Batman's New Batsuit

The cast and crew of the newly released Batman Begins movie talk about the new Batsuit that was used for the movie and how it was a major step forward.
The cast and crew of the newly released and highly anticipated Batman Begins movie told SCI FI Wire that the new Batsuit represented a major step forward: It not only had to make sense storywise, but it also had to be practical and comfortable for star Christian Bale. "The previous Batman costume you could hardly move in," producer Charles Roven said in an interview. "You couldn't turn your head. The design was that it had to be formidable and every part of his costume has functionality. He had to be athletic and move around in. This is the first Batman where the cape has been used to the extent that it has in so many different ways. ... The outfit is more fabric light. There are no nipples."

No nipples indeed. Joel Schumacher's Batman movies were lambasted in part because of the nipples designed into the superhero's armored chest. This time around, costume designer Lindy Hemming molded a neoprene undersuit, like a wetsuit, to make the costume flexible. The cowl, the all-important headpiece for Batman, was figured out by director Christopher Nolan, Hemming and sculptor Julian Murray to allow for more movement and still keeping a distinctive panther-like silhouette. And the cape had to be impressive and flowing, but not unwieldy.

It still took three people to dress Bale in the impressive black outfit. To make the costume more comfortable, plastic tubes were used to cool off the suit inside.

Bale said that he never took advantage of the cooling system in the suit. "It was a really nice thought of theirs to have these kinds of cooling tubes and things running down the back, but it was just a little bit too [hard to make work]," he said in a separate interview. "I'd have to go over and hook myself up. And I would rather just feel free and walk around. They'd stick hair driers down the back instead. Yes, it was the most lightweight of all the Batsuits that have been created so far. It had the most mobility as well to it. And it was the most pared down. We wanted to take it back to the basics and have everything being practical. No nipples or anything like that whatsoever."

The costume wasn't comfortable, but Bale didn't complain. "You get hot," he said. "You sweat, and you get a headache in the cowl. But I'm not going to bitch about it. I'm getting to play Batman!"

Batman Begins was released in theatres everywhere today.

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