Skip to main content

The Dark Knight Trilogy’s Batmobile was partially inspired by random toys from Toys R Us

(Image credit: DC/Warner Bros.)

How do you redesign an icon? The Batmobile, which became the more militarised “Tumbler” in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, underwent a serious makeover in the mid-‘00s.

Now, the origin of that change has been revealed by production designer Nathan Crowley: an impromptu trip to Toys R Us.

Crowley told Collider that “one of the biggest things [Nolan] wanted to try and do was redesign the Batmobile.” And so off Crowley went to his local toy store.

“It was a Friday, I went away and I went down to Toys R Us and bought a bunch of vehicles,” Crowley explained. “I went over to my workshop and cut everything up and smashed them up. We talked about mashing up a Lamborghini with a Humvee, and so I thought, ‘Well let’s just start somewhere.’ So I smashed this thing together and I left it on his doorstep on a Monday morning.”

Leaving a hybrid, Frankenstein’s monster of a car mashup outside Nolan’s house might get you a restraining order nowadays but Crowley, who has worked alongside the director on several of his films, was just getting started.

“He called me and he said, ‘Get in here, let’s convert my two-car garage into a workshop art department and figure out how we’re gonna do this film,” Crowley said.

To think, the crown in Bruce Wayne’s prized car collection all started thanks to a quick jaunt down a toy aisle and what could only be described as entering full kid mode and combining the best bits of different cars. Now, Nolan is more likely to just buy a 747 and crash it. They don’t sell those in Toys R Us, let me tell you.

Bradley Russell

GamesRadar+'s Entertainment Writer. Lover of all things Nintendo, in a tortured love/hate relationship with Crystal Palace, and also possesses an unhealthy knowledge of The Simpsons (which is of no use at parties).