The first thing you notice about Anne Hathaway’s Selina Kyle costume is how impressive her heels are. They’re huge. Massive. In a show room packed full of equally impressive props, those boots, with their steel stilettos that look downright lethal, stand out. How the actress managed to do so much in them throughout The Dark Knight Rises, the final film in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy, is beyond us.
As any good Bat-fan knows, The Dark Knight Rises is the most recent Warner Bros. Batman film, and is one of seven blockbuster movies represented in “The Batman Exhibit,” the new exhibition offering fans an unprecented, up-close glimpse at the Dark Knight’s life on film. “The Batman Exhibit” opened yesterday as a part of Batman’s yearlong 75th Anniversary Celebration, exclusively as a part of the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour.
“The 75th anniversary is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate Batman,” says Danny Kahn, Executive Director of the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour. “We’re lucky enough to have an incredible collection of original archive material which we can share.”
That material spans a period of nearly 25 years, starting with Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and wrapping up with 2012’s Rises. It’s the first time all seven Batman movies have been represented together and the first and most-likely only time many of the items will be viewable by the public. With most of the props grouped together by movie, a walk through the exhibit gives fans a clear look at the progression of one of the most popular film and comic book characters ever created, while also showing off the unique mark each filmmaker left on the Dark Knight.
Visitors will be free to examine plenty of costumes, including six different Batsuits and fifteen cowls worn by the four actors who have played Batman on the big screen, dozens of props and models, a gallery of production art and in the studio’s famous Picture Car Vault, many of the Caped Crusader’s most famous vehicles.
It’s this last element that may be the highlight of the tour. Among the vehicles on display are the Bat-Pod, the Bathammer and several different Batmobiles, including the popular Tumbler. “The Tumbler from The Dark Knight Trilogy is absolutely astonishing and it’s nothing short of surreal to have the chance to see it in person,” Kahn enthuses. “ It’s designed to be a cross between a Lamborghini and a Hummer, it accelerates from standstill to 60 miles per hour in five seconds, it can jump 30 feet, and yes it’s real.
The Picture Car Vault has been given a makeover as a part of the overhaul, and now features a much darker, more dramatic lighting scheme and sound effects that help create the illusion of being in Gotham City. Also on display is the famous Bat-Signal, which fans can interact with and light.
The Bat-influence can even be felt outside of the exhibit proper. Some of the tour carts have been given a special Batman skin, and the tour will also take you by several of the most iconic spots from the Batman films.
The sheer amount of Batman ephemera on display is impressive, but it’s the details really stand out—the kinds of things that only become apparent when given the opportunity to examine something at leisure. The poignancy of Rachel Dawes’s handwritten note to Bruce Wayne from The Dark Knight, the dark whimsy of Tim Burton’s take on the Penguin from 1992’s Batman Returns, or Selina Kyle’s aforementioned heels. (We’re telling you—they’re massive!) No matter which particular Batman film is your favorite, rest assured that it’s well represented.
“Visitors will definitely get a different perspective because you will be able to study the details of the amazing props, costumes, models and miniatures that are otherwise only shown for a few seconds during the film,” Kahn explains. “I think that people will be able to better appreciate the artisans and craftsmen behind the scenes that allow these films to come to life. We also hope that the exhibit inspires the future story tellers and film makers to create.”
Considering that Batman has been inspiring people for 75 years running, we’d say that seems all but certain.
For an even closer look at “The Batman Exhibit,” be sure to watch this week’s episode of DC All Access.
Want to check the exhibit out for yourself? Click here for ticket information, or enter our exclusive DC All Access giveaway! We’re setting up one lucky fan and a guest with a trip to Los Angeles to experience “The Batman Exhibit” and the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour. Click here for information on how to enter, but act fast. The giveaway ends on Monday, June 30th.