The Real-Life New York Location That Inspired 'The Batman's Batcave
The Batman did a lot of things differently. It gave us a movie about the troubled caped crusader that felt more noir than DC. It (finally) gave us a Batman movie featuring a bisexual Selina Kyle. And would you believe it, the movie even managed to give us a Batman voice that sounds pretty much the same whether ol' Batsy is donning that mask or not. Incredible! It can be done. We always knew.
The film also decided to shift the headquarters of Emo Bats' operations from the usual Wayne Manor (situated outside Gotham's city limits) to Wayne Towers, a more central location. It makes sense that our True Crime-loving batboy would want to be in the thick of it all — access is just so much easier. This, of course, made the creation of the Batcave a bit more interesting since there aren't any mountains in the middle of
New York Gotham, you know.
So the filmmakers turned to an old NYC urban legend to create a Batcave underneath Wayne Manor in the very center of the city. Production designer James Chinlund explained:
"If the Wayne built this tower in the twenties, what would be below this tower that would offer an opportunity for a cave? There's an underground train station at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. The myth is that there's a train parked there all the time, and the idea is that whenever the president is in town if there's ever an emergency and he has to get out of town, they could take him through this secret tunnel at the Waldorf and get him out of town discreetly. I always loved that idea and thought it was so romantic, so I thought about the idea that if you were the Waynes and you had created this city, you would probably have your own secret train terminal under the tower."
The popular legend goes that because he didn't want people to know he had polio and see him using a wheelchair, Franklin D. Roosevelt used the secret underground train station called Track 61 to access the Waldorf Astoria hotel privately, and by car. Yes, the elevator is apparently so big that, supposedly, FDR drove his car from the train right onto the elevator platform which then took him up and straight to the hotel's garage. God, this is Elon Musk's dream, isn't it?
Today it's an area completely closed off to the public, which totally makes it the ideal secret portal for a rich rookie vigilante to do his vigilante things (and create all kinds of questionable technologies) while the rest of us have to stink it up on the subway.
Top Image: Warner Bros. Pictures