Michael Wilkinson Talks About Designing Costumes For The DCEU!

At the CDGA red carpet, ComicBook Resources talked with costume designer Michael Wilkinson about designing the suits for Batman, Wonder Woman, and for the rest of the Justice League.

Michael Wilkinson has a beautiful track record of work on films such as, Man of Steel, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, and 300! All of which are films by director Zack Snyder.

CBR starts off with asking Wilkinson about the type of mindset he had going into Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice and here is what he had to say,

“It was a really fun and humbling experience because I grew up watching all the different “Batman” films. Each time the new ‘Batman’  film came out, it was like, “Oh my gosh, I wonder what he’s going to look like, how they’re going to take it to a whole other level?” So to actually be that guy to be able to contribute what the next Batsuit looks like was pretty mind-blowing. I think we just roll up our sleeves and didn’t think about the pressure and just got on with it, working with a very trusting and beloved director that I had already done four other films with, Zack Snyder. So there was a real comfort zone there to really be free and to try something innovative and interesting. Added to that, there was also Wonder Woman in our film, too. So that was a really big moment for me: to be able to create the new look for Wonder Woman.”

Jumping straight to Batman and his new suit and the armored suit, CBR asks about the type of influence that Wilkinson had from the famous Frank Miller Dark Knight Returns.

“It was actually, yes. Zack’s a huge fan of Frank Miller — you probably know that because he directed “300,” which is another Frank Miller project — so we looked at that comic book. We really looked at how Batman’s been drawn over the last 75 years and sort of really thought about how what we wanted to say about Batman, how Batman is a lot burlier and he’s a slightly older Batman. He’s a guy that doesn’t really have to depend on armor, he’s physically fit and in huge shape. When he has to fight Superman of course he really has to lift his game, and that’s when he puts on his huge iron suit. But yeah, there was a whole other thinking and a lot went into all of these decisions.”

We are all able to tell that the suit certainly share resemblance with the suit but it is very interesting to hear about how much they took from different costumes to make it into the suit they are using in the film. Looking at the suit you can tell that the logo is very much from Dark Knight Returns but you can also make some other comparisons can be made. For example Kevin Smith said months ago, before anyone had seen the suit, that the new Batman looked very much like the Batman in Batman: Noel. For me I can also see that the suits color scheme and body look looks a lot like the New 52 suit that was introduced in 2011. As for the Armored suit Wilkinson says himself that suit is straight outta the Dark Knight Returns comic.

Designing a Batman suit can give you a lot of pressure especially with such a big fan base, but the hero that probably gave Wilkinson the most pressure is our heroine, Wonder Woman.

“The most important thing for us is that Wonder Woman was taken seriously and that she had a sense of grit and strength when she stood up with these two other men, that she had an equal amount of power. So when we made her, we went back to her warrior roots and her Greek roots and gave her something that mimics the gladiator’s armor.

It’s very practical. It’s got strapping and all sorts of gear. It looks very battle-worn. It’s beaten up and full of sword scrapes from all the enemies she’s been facing over the centuries that she’s been with us. So yeah, we just wanted it to feel legitimate and not at all decorative, but grounded. Combining power with grace and majesty was our criteria.”

I personally think that Wilkinson has done a fantastic job bringing Wonder Woman to life with Gal Gadot in the role and the warrior looking outfit he designed, Wonder Woman looks just they way she should. In everything we have seen so far she hasn’t said much but she sure has looked confident and powerful in every pose. Whether its blocking a laser blast with her shield or lunging at destruction to fight, Wonder Woman looks the part of a fierce warrior that she is known to be in the comics.

Superman’s suit wasn’t changed too much from his last appearance in Man of Steel, but Wilkinson speaks on the minor changes made.

“Yeah, we wanted to keep playing with that. There’s an amazing quotation of Kryptonian that is sort of blended through his suit. We’ve streamlined a few of the elements. He shows a few new materials. We wanted to keep pushing that to make sure it’s as fantastic as it could be.”

Lois Lane is another character that Wilkinson designed for and he even admits that Lois is his favorite character!

She is. She’s actually one of my favorite characters in the movie. She’s smart, she’s a woman of the 21st Century. She knows what she wants. She’s ballsy. Amy is so smart. She’s all of those things herself. So it’s wonderful to bring that power and energy on to the screen.

After asking about all the individual suits in Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice CBR wants to ask about Wilkinson’s involvement in Justice League Part One. Wilkinson confirms that he is indeed working on the project and comments on making the suits.

Well, I’m right in the middle of it. We have camera tests coming up very soon, with the new characters that we’re establishing. So it’s hugely exciting, overwhelming and just thrilling. So we’re really thinking about these new characters, how the power balances between the whole Justice League, what role they all play. How they’re all very diverse from each other.

They have a different relationship with power, how that’s expressed through their costume. A lot of work is going into it.

Wilkinson seems to have a pretty good grasp on all of the characters in the DCEU so much that he realizes that each members look kind of defines what unique abilities they can bring to the table.

What do you think about Wilkinson’s comments? Do you like the look of all the heroes? Be sure to let us know on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

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