If you think you know the Batmobile, think again, Bat fans. Recently, Warner Bros. live-streamed The Batmobile Documentary, a film detailing the origins of the coolest comic-book car in the world, and its various iterations on the small and big screens. Rats, missed it? Don’t worry, you can watch the documentary for free below. And watch it you should.
The film covers everything from the classic George Barris 1966 creation from the campy TV series to the tough-ass Tumbler that played its own starring role in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. There is one hitch: The nearly one-hour documentary is from 2012, so it does not include the Batmobiles from Batman v Superman, Justice League, or the upcoming muscle car Batmobile actor Robert Pattinson will drive.
Still, it is jam-packed with plenty of Bat-istics and features tidbits and tales from the actors and directors who had a hand in creating and driving the actual machines. Did you know that famed car customizer George Barris built the most iconic Batmobile out of FoMoCo’s Futura Concept in only 15 days for $15,000? Another little-known fact? He used a five-gallon paint can to create its jet-powered rear end. Also, actor Adam West reminisces about the time he took the Batmobile out trick-or-treating on Halloween night.
From there, the documentary jumps to Tim Burton’s darker but still wackier Batmobile piloted by Michael Keaton’s Batman in the 1989 movie. It was originally built without a door and the slider was added before filming began, as were headlights from a Honda Civic and taillights from a Ferrari. Also, Keaton’s Bat ears had to be trimmed to fit inside the Batmobile when its roof slid closed.
The Batman Forever wall-climbing ride with Val Kilmer in the starring role from 1995 gets a closer look, too. It was designed by director Joel Schumacher, Swiss artist H.R. Geiger, and company. Also the least interesting single-seater ride from Batman and Robin in 1997 with George Clooney as the Caped Crusader is featured, and it looks way more interesting in retrospect.
Finally, we get to the fifth Batmobile that was featured in Nolan’s redeeming The Dark Night trilogy—the Tumbler. Nolan’s vision of the ride combines the profile Lamborghini with the weight and muscle of a Humvee, plus a set of 44-inch wheels from a monster truck. Several were created for the series of films, and actor Christian Bale says the performance version of it was really loud. Bale described it as sounding like having Ozzy Osborne screaming in your ear. Now that’s really rockin’ if you ask us. Now, enjoy the documentary—we just had to shine a bat signal on it.
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