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Batman's New Suit

The Caped Crusader won't swoop onto screens again until ''The Dark Knight'' hits theaters on July 18, 2008 — but he's already sporting a new-and-improved getup, and costume designer Lindy Hemming gives EW a first look and tells us about its features

Image credit: Stephen Vaughn

ABOUT THE COSTUME

HEAD GAMES Ever wonder why movie Batmans rarely turn their horned heads? It's because the cowls of past suits were firmly attached to the neck and shoulders of the costume — necessary to maintain that iconic silhouette and to prevent the actor from moving around inside the mask. The new headpiece — modeled after a motorcycle helmet — is separate from the neck, so star Christian Bale can now swivel his noggin side to side, or nod up and down. ''It was the hardest part of the suit to make,'' says Hemming.

CAPE FEAR Don't bother asking. ''It's top secret,'' says Hemming. Meaning...? ''Let's just say things happen to the cloak.'' Our guess: It's also a picnic blanket!

BLADES OF GLORY The razors on Batman's forearms are actually part of the suit. (His gloves tuck into the sleeves of the suit.) They're retractable, and yep, they're weapons. ''They shoot at people!'' says Hemming with a Jokersesque laugh.

RAW MATERIAL The new suit is made of 200 individual pieces of rubber, fiberglass, and nylon and metallic mesh. Bruce Wayne's work duds now have a stylish texture, suggesting they're made with sophisticated new technology. ''I thought it would make it more interesting to look at and wonder about,'' says Hemming, adding that the stretchy rubber lines also help bind the costume to Bale's body.

Originally posted Jun 14, 2007 Published in issue #940 Jun 22, 2007 Order article reprints