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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab). They don’t sell those in Toys R Us, let me tell you.

I'm the Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.