DCEU has earned a mixed set of reviews and admiration from the audience over the years. Despite the worldwide influence of DC comics and its superheroes over fans, the cinematic universe has faced its share of difficulties to leave a mark. But Warner Bros. still stands poised for the talented directors who took some DC movies to great heights. Their out-of-the-world vision also extended to the costumes, thus giving a deep meaning to every superhero outfit. These BTS secrets and hidden references are meant to enhance the viewers’ cinematic experience. So, here are interesting facts about DCEU costumes from behind the scenes.
Shazam’s Outfit Has A Reference
Zachary Levi’s super-entertaining Shazam may be the newest hero in the cinematic universe. But his comic book counterpart is the oldest and one of the earliest characters of DC. Shazam drew his powers from the ancient Gods such as Hercules, Solomon, Zeus, and more. This prompted the designers to take inspiration from the ancient Greek for his suit. It was steeped in gold patterns and also projected Mr Trawny, a recurring character in Shazam comic books, on the gold plated button.
Wonder Woman’s Tiara
Comic books fans must have noticed how Gal Gadot’s outfit is slightly different from other iterations of Wonder Woman. The Amazonian warrior we knew wore the tiara on her head. But director Patty Jenkins had reservations about a warrior donning tiara. So, costume designer Wilkinson came up with a brilliant solution to turn the tiara into protective headgear.
Superman’s Suit Has A Quote
Everyone knows about the message on Superman’s suit. But Zack Snyder and Michael Wilkinson wanted to add something more than the “S” for “hope”. The intricate patterns and texture on Henry Cavill’s new suit was Joseph Campbell’s quote translated into Kryptonian.
Ben Affleck’s Rough Batman Suit
Zack Snyder and costume designer Michael Wilkinson turned towards some of the most popular iterations of Batman in the comic books for the costume. They took inspiration from Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns to create a hulking Batman.
During an interview, Wilkinson said
“Zack was quite clear about the direction he wanted to take. He really wanted our Batman to look more like he does in the comic books, so when he was drawn in 2D, he’s just a solid ball of muscle – but he’s more of a boorish brawler than an armour-and-high-tech figure. So we kind of went back to his roots and portrayed some of it through his massive strength and fighting technique, more than armour… That was important, to show our Batman really battle-worn and a little older than Batman from recent films, so he’s fighting crime in Gotham for a long time now and he has the scars to show it.
Flash’s Prototype Suit
Barry Allen aka Flash is the youngest member of the Justice League. As compared to other heroes like Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman, this speedster is just a fresher. With no Bruce Wayne or Tony Stark over his head, Barry relied on his personal resources for the outfit. Zack Snyder didn’t want tights for the amateur superhero but envisioned an amalgamation of high-tech and low-tech elements on his suit. According to costume designer Wilkinson “For this costume, Zack [Snyder] wanted this great mixture between a very high-tech approach, but also low-tech. Lots of beaten-up kind of textures, sort of feels like a prototype suit. It’s been scratched and messed around with. Flash is kind of working out his look in this early stage of his story… I had this idea that it’s almost like a sports shoe, in a way, that you combine soft, flexible materials, and then layer it up and so it becomes harder and harder”
Bruce Wayne’s Business Outfits
The man behind the Dark Knight’s cape wore nothing but Gucci. The director and creative team designed the character arc of Ben Affleck’s Bruce Wayne as a billionaire with a routine but elegant wardrobe. He only owned “eight white shirts, five bespoke navy suits, 10 bespoke black suits- he had a very austere approach to fashion”. The entire wardrobe was curated by the designers of Gucci.
Harley Quinn’s Necklace
Margot Robbie has been the best Harley Quinn ever on the screens. She captures the anti-hero’s wildness and unpredictability perfectly. In “Birds of Prey”, we learn that Harley and Joker break up after the events of “Suicide Squad”. Her standalone film finally shifted the spotlight off Joker and focused on Harley’s character arc. Costume designer Erin Benach manifested her quirky attributes through her costumes and jewellery. Harley’s necklace had random things such as a cold-drink bottle cap, feminist iconography, and Bruce tag attached to it.
As Cyborg, actor Ray Fisher’s costume heavily depends on CGI to achieve a more realistic look. As cool as he looked on the screens, his behind-the-scenes appearance was far from that of a scifi superhero. While his costars donned amazing costumes and capes, Fisher spent most of his time at the set in pyjamas.
In “Aquaman”, it was Arthur Curry who wore Jason Momoa’s costume. Do not underestimate the designer’s work in the movie just because the protagonist donned casual clothes. The department had to put in additional efforts to match Momoa’s unique body measurements. Later, they teamed up with the brand that makes customized clothes for the actor.
Wonder Woman’s Warrior Outfit
Since Wonder Woman had been a warrior since 3000BC, her costume had to look old yet modern in “Justice League”. The designer and director took inspiration from Greek and Roman warriors and gladiators and blended it with contemporary technology for comfort and flexibility.