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Movie Legends Revealed | Did H.R. Giger Design a Batmobile For ‘Batman Forever’?

batmanforeverbatmobile

MOVIE URBAN LEGEND: Did famed Alien designer H.R. Giger really design a Batmobile for Batman Forever?

Alien was a brilliant fusion of science fiction and horror, as screenwriter Dan O’Bannon and director Ridley Scott had the crew of a spacecraft slowly killed by an alien creature that had essentially stowed away in the body of one of the crew members during a mission to a nearby planet. The film’s setting of a cramped commercial space vessel was perfectly suited for such a tense thriller. The alien creature also stood out for its unique and striking design.

The creature was designed by Swiss artist Hans Rudolf “H.R.” Giger, whom O’Bannon had worked with on a planned adaptation of Dune that never happened. The writer later recalled, “I had never seen anything that was quite as horrible and at the same time as beautiful as his work.” So when O’Bannon’s Alien screenplay was optioned, he immediately thought of Giger to design the creature. Scott ultimately chose a design based on a drawing Giger had createdcalled “Necronom IV.” Studio executives were worried that Giger’s design might be too disturbing for viewers, but Scott was adamant about using it, and the resulting film obviously proved the director correct.

Giger (and the rest of the visual effects team for the film, namely Carlo Rambaldi, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder and Dennis Ayling) won the Academy Award for Visual Effects; he recently was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame.

Reader Steve wrote to ask whether we almost saw Giger’s work appear in Batman Forever, of all places: “Is it true that artist H.R. Giger did production design art for the film Batman Forever, with a radically different design for the Batmobile than the seen in the film (or elsewhere). This rumor seems to get passed around a lot as fact. I would love to see the design sketch’s if they exist. Thank you. Keep up the great work.”

Well, is it true? Did we almost get a surrealist version of the Batmobile? Read on to find out!

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For director Joel Schumacher’s 1995 film Batman Forever, the third in the Warner Bros. franchise, Giger was indeed asked to create a new take on the Batmobile. His design was described on Batmobile Art as:

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 organinic spines and a central pod connecting the four legs.

giger1994batmobile2Ultimately the filmmakers found the X-design a bit too “out there,” and they eventually chose a more conventional design by designer Barbara Ling.

But there you go, Steve, the legend is …

STATUS: True

Thanks to Steve for the question and to Batmobile Art for the information!

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com.

Be sure to check out my Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed for more urban legends about the worlds of TV, Movies and Music!

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Comments

  • penguintruth

    “It’s the car, right? Chicks dig the— no, it couldn’t be the car. That thing is a horror.”

  • chai xiong

    Looks better than the monstrosity that actually made it to film.

  • nillyville

    Chai, you kid right? That thing is a scissor with wheels, that has insect bits. What an freaking disaster. Glad they went with the other design…it wasn’t an amazing (sharkfin), but looked like a batmobile.

  • Freddie Lomax

    the Tumbler was a Batmobile, everything else was just a vibrator on wheels.

  • Black Cesar

    It’s not a Giger design if it doesn’t look like a penis and/or a vagina.

  • videofarmer

    Looks interesting, but probably best not to go with the design labeled “Bat Man Mobile”, even if it is Giger.

  • Steven Whisler Jr.

    The “Batman Forever” Batmobile did not seem like a traditional design when the movie came out BUT compared to Giger’s re-design it’s pretty mondain. I guess that what you get when you ask someone like G.H Giger to give you a “new take”. Thanks for using my suggestion.

  • J. Ryan Buck

    That car would have been awesome for a Villain!

  • Kevin Bradley

    What a mess! Thank God cooler heads prevailed. Now, I didn’t care for the one that eventually made it, but it was still miles better than any of this junk. There’s nothing remotely bat-like about it. What was Giger thinking? (But then, looking at any of Giger’s other work, “What was Giger thinking?”)

  • Millie Burton

    Glad that a talent like Giger wasn’t involved with a piece of crap like Batman Forever