I readily admit that my all time favorite comic book hero is Batman and my all time favorite sci – fi artist is H.R. Giger, aside from being a unique talent unto his own, he’s also responsible for the look of the Alien movies as well as the upcoming, Prometheus which is rumored to be a prequel of sorts to the Alien franchise. So imagine my geek delight when I learned that when Joel Schumacher began working on Batman Forever, he gave Giger the first shot at redesigning the Batmoblie for the film.
What seemed like a great idea at the time, resulted in a vehicle that would be more at home in one of Giger’s classic “techo – organic” landscapes than in a movie featuring The Dark Knight.
His unique “X” shaped design was to include articulated front legs/mandibles, retractable fins, and gatling gun emplacements on each of the four pods on the sides of the vehicle. The design also combined side and forward intake ports with organic spines and a central pod connecting the four legs.
Of course Warner Brothers rejected Giger’s concept and went for the straightforward phallic Batmobile designed by Harald Belker that did make it on to the big screen.
Just for fun, I’ve included this fan made poster depicting a “what if” Tim Burton stayed on to direct Batman Forever and Michael Keaton stayed on as Batman for Batman Forever scenario More than likely the other casting would have remained intact.
With the exception of Robin Williams as The Riddler, these actors were confirmed for the roles you see in this image. Renee Russo was dropped as Dr. Chase Meridian for Nicole Kidman because the studio felt Russo was too old for the part once Val Kilmer signed on for cape and cowl duty. Marlon Wayans was cast as Robin for Batman Returns, early drafts of the script described the character as being a street – wise kid from Gotham’s inner city but the character was written out of the film. I think had Burton stayed on for this film, we would have seen Wayans as arguably comics’ most famous sidekick in this movie. Once Schumacher was brought onboard and wanted to bring in Chris O’Donnell for the part, Warner Brothers paid a huge amount of money to Wayans to back out of his contract. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Billy Dee Williams who, from what I’ve heard, found out that the part of Two – Face was no longer his when he read the Tommy Lee Jones casting announcement in Variety.
Batmobile images via Super Punch