Director Zach Snyder has finally revealed a picture of what the new Batsuit and Batmobile will look like for his upcoming mega-block buster, tentatively titled "Batman vs. Superman," and the picture says a lot more than a thousands words about the film's approach to the caped crusader.
The photo is a dark shade of dark, with absolutely no color whatsoever (whether that's because Snyder, who claims to have taken the picture himself, shot the photo in black and white or is just giving us a taste of whatever extreme filter he plans on using in the film is yet to be known), which makes it hard to actually get a good look at the details of the suit.
But the few details that are possible to make out are rather telling.
First off, the new Batsuit has strayed from the more naturalistic "survival suit for advanced infantry" approach, which defined the look and functionality of all three Christopher Nolan films.
While the suit of the Nolan/Bale films avoided the typical muscle suit look of previous Batman films, Snyder and his team have not only harkened back to the days of sculpted physique, they seem to have taken it to the next level; the muscles are so defined it's hard to believe there's a Ben Affleck under there.
Another important element of the costume is the new cowl. For years Batman was plagued in his cinematic portrayals with the inability to turn his head. But as the picture shows, The World's Greatest Detective will, at the very least, be able to look down.
The most controversial aspect of the new design is, of course, the ears. While some fans have expressed deep concern over the minuteness of the bat-ears, it has been long rumored that the Batfleck would be sporting a costume inspired by acclaimed comic book artist Jim Lee's rendition of the hero, which does indeed sport less prominent ears.
But the short ears might have another inspiration, which leads me to the next important reveal: This Batsuit is likely an homage to Frank Miller's classic (and hugely influential) graphic series "The Dark Knight Returns."
In "Returns" an aged Caped Crusader fights the criminal underbelly of Gotham in more than one suit (one of which is an armored suit, that is also rumored to make an appearance in "BVS"). But possibly the most famous incarnation to appear in the story is a black and grey get-up with tiny ears and an oversized bat symbol spread across his chest. Which, as you can see, is clearly the approach Snyder & Co. have taken here.
The photo's release was undoubtedly an attempt to finally put to rest the anxiety of fans over the casting of Ben Affleck as Batman, as Warner Brothers did more than two decades ago with the release of a rushed teaser trailer of Batman starring Michael Keaton. Back then, the major concern was the tone of the film. The casting of Michael Keaton, who up to that point was known primarily for his comedic roles, had many fans worried that Batman would be reduced to the "BANG," "POW," "CRASH" approach of the 1960s television series.
Now, fans seem more concerned with whether or not exploring Batman is worth the time (and money) coming off the heals of such a successful run under Christopher Nolan's watch. Many are also likely worried that Snyder's Batman will take controversial liberties with the character, as his film "Man of Steel" did.
So whether or not fans are happy about the casting of Ben Affleck, or the tiny ears, now they know that whatever Snyder plans on doing to the beloved character, he's clearly drawing his inspiration from the comic books.
And, of course, he's still really, really sad.