Batmobile Digital Artist Ash Thorp Explains How Pre-Production Model Is Different to the Movie Car

For decades, people have imagined themselves taking on Batman’s role, as one would when the character is a “regular” human being relying on admittedly uber-expensive gadgets and toys rather than sci-fi superpowers. However, if you’re an automotive enthusiast, the thought of having to throw the Batmobile around often narrow city streets while hunting down your violent nemesis might not seem so appealing. Either due to appearing too cumbersome or taking the fantasy too far (e.g. splitting into a motorcycle), many of the machines cast in the role simply don’t seem fit for an all-out car chase that would be realistic. Well, now that The Batman is in theaters, the new Batmobile does away with all that.

The motion picture tells the story of Bruce Wayne’s second year as Gotham’s Dark Knight. And, as one can notice from the official trailer found at the bottom of the story (there will be no spoilers in this article), it’s all been made to be more relatable than ever.

Director Matt Reeves, whose work we last enjoyed in the new-age Apes franchise, brought together the kind of cast that appeals to a broad audience. Among many other top actors, we have Robert Pattinson as the Dark Knight, Zoe Kravitz as Catwoman, Paul Dano as The Riddler, and Colin Farrell in the role of the Penguin.

However, while the silver screen will tell you all about how those Hollywood stars deliver the action, we’re here to focus on Batman’s car. And the 2022 Batmobile no longer hints at a vast fortune sustaining the operation, since it looks more like a modded muscle car.

Of course, the director and the movie’s production designer James Chinlund had a concept for the caped crusader’s new ride. However, this is the digital era, so the digital artist who was tasked with 3D modeling the thing also had an important contribution.

You may already be familiar to the work of Ash Thorp

And that artist is Ashley Livingstone Thorp (he simply goes by Ash Thorp on social media). The American, who has a history with superhero and sci-fi movies (user interface, direction contribution, content creation, etc.) is also resurgent automaker De Tomaso’s designer and renders his own machines.

In fact, I distinctively recall how, exactly two years before the March 4 theatrical release of the movie, I was checking out a series of teasers Reeves Tweetet and noticed Thorp’s style on the renders, writing about it the following day.

Having enjoyed the motion picture himself over the weekend, Thorp has taken to Instagram to showcase his final vision of the 2022 Batmobile, he submitted to the Warner Bros. studios (check out the image gallery). And, as he notes, this isn’t quite identical to the movie car.

If you look closely you can see some differences between my last design and the final that made it into the film,” the designer explains—he delivers the details on the differences in the description of the Insta post.

It’s also worth noting that Thorp came up with a total of 11 incarnations of the Batmobile. After all, he was up to the monumental task of shaping the muscle car culture into Batmobile form. And, from the overall silhouette, with the bat symbol that is the posterior itself, to details such as the industrial-look power domme adorning the hood, the result is something to write home about. Or just DM your loved ones.

As with previous iterations of the Batmobile, the new one is animated by a Chevy V8. However, while one can see certain Camaro styling cues here, there are also nods to the Mopar and the Mustang realms. So, if you ask me, the age-old fan debate on the real-life city that Gotham most resembles might’ve just gotten an inch closer to Detroit.



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