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“The Batman is typically kind of a loner,” Ben Affleck says. “I guess you’d call him kind of inward, you know?” The man who debuted as Bruce Wayne in 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice laughs at his own understatement. After all, for most of the Caped Crusader’s history — and especially since 2008’s zeitgeist-defining The Dark Knight — the character’s been a brooding, traumatized hero. defined by lone-wolf vigilantism.
That has to change in Justice League, when Batman unites a team of metahumans—Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Aquaman (Jason Momoa), the Flash (Ezra Miller), Cyborg (Ray Fisher)…and probably at least one not-quite-dead Kryptonian. They’re defending Earth from a cosmic threat. “He brings them to the Batcave and lets them in on the central conflict of the story, who the enemy is,” Affleck says. “There’s a little bit of a Magnificent Seven aspect to it.” (Affleck avoids any revelation about the precise nature of that top-secret enemy. Rumors, trailers, and a prophecy dream point to the forces of hell-planet Apokolips.)
The new emphasis on working together is reflected visually by Batman’s niftiest new toy: the Flying Fox, a brutalist plane big enough to hold a whole cinematic universe of super-personalities. “You can put three Batmobiles in the lower part of it,” says production designer Patrick Tatopoulos (Batman v Superman). “I didn’t want to do a sleek airplane; it needed to feel like an extremely avant-garde classic. With the maneuverability of a jet—but it can actually carry things.”
Several things. Tatopoulos built a three-story interior set for the Fox. “The bottom part of the jet is a huge cargo bay, which the Batmobile sits in,” the designer says. “The second floor is like a cultural center, with computer terminals. The third story is the cockpit. Whatever floor you are on, you can see [the other] two stories.” The Fox has everything—except a place to brood in private, Batman.
Here’s the larger look at concept art for the Flying Fox:
Justice League hits theaters Nov. 17.