Why Batman Has A Bat-Tank In The Justice League Snyder Cut

A scene involving Batman in a tank-like Batmobile are surprising viewers, as they did not appear in any of the film’s previous promotion.

With the release of a new teaser and trailer for Zack Snyder’s Justice League viewers were surprised to see a tank-like Batmobile, not originally mentioned in the first set visit or any other previous leaks or promotion to this point. The imposing armored vehicle is in keeping with the darker, more serious cut as described. With over 3 hours of new footage, this new vehicle may just be one of many surprises Snyder has up his sleeve.

This isn’t the first time that Batman has been seen to use militarized hardware in action on the streets of Gotham in movies. Although the iconic crime-fighting vehicle has had a number of comic and movie influences to explain its look over the years, one of the most prominent examples was in Batman Begins, which featured a prototype military off-road tank vehicle known as “the tumbler”. Even the more car-like Batmobile from the 1989 Batman had mounted machine guns, although it was built on a Chevrolet Impala chassis. The new Bat-tank however appears to be directly inspired by Frank Miller’s 1986 comic, The Dark Knight Returns.

A closer look at the shot and the surrounding context shows destroyed buildings and what appears to be a construction site with floodlights and a backhoe and other construction equipment, which may be part of Zack Snyder’s Justice League revisiting Batman v Superman in the opening scenes. The fact that Batman’s suit looks more like his Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice costume than anything he wears in Justice League suggests this may simply be Batman excavating the scene of Superman and Doomsday’s death on Stryker’s Island, and not some epic tank fight, although, with the sheer scale of this movie, the potential for a more action-packed utilization of this vehicle can’t be discounted.
Batman – Ben Affleck, Christian Bale, and Justice League Tank

Zack Snyder has mentioned interest in adapting The Dark Knight Returns, and the hulking armor worn by Batman, in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice also draws inspiration from the Frank Miller comics, and the fight choreography of the clash between Batman and Superman in that film is also clearly influenced by a similar scene in the comic. With the Bat-tank, Snyder is planting a flag, stating that Ben Affleck’s version Batman will continue to lean heavily into Miller’s take on the character. As the upcoming film also promises to shed light on Batman v Superman’s enigmatic “Knightmare” scene, such a grandiose vehicle seems like it would be right at home and also serve as a stopgap against what Batman perceives to be a disastrous but avoidable future.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League has had a unique opportunity to observe reactions to the movie’s initial release, and to make adjustments accordingly. Snyder’s fondness for elements from The Dark Knight Returns seems to be reflected in upcoming projects as well with The Suicide Squad being set on an island visited by Superman in the comic. This suggests that a more militarized Batman may be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to design choices and aesthetics with certain projects going forward. With Zack Snyder’s Justice League set to release on March 18 2021, fan response will help to finalize that decision.