Bruce integrated the gilder cape into the 2nd Batsuit sometime after the death of the Joker. Prior to this he was only able to glide or "float" short distances without a line attached to his belt. When a line was attached it seemed to be more for dramatic effect than any kind of true gliding.
Escape from Gotham PlazaEdit
Later instances of glidingEdit
When Dick Grayson was fighting the Golums gang, Batman appeared and frightened them away as he glid toward Grayson from a building. This is likely the greatest distance traveled with one the standard capes.
Batman also used the current cape to glide out of the sky and toward the windshield of Mr. Freeze's vehicle. Ironically, the Cryo-Suit has a retractable set of metal glider wings used by Freeze in a earlier skirmish.
Behind the ScenesEdit
The original Daniel Waters descriptions of this gadget differed greatly. The cape's transformation was originally going to take place in mid-air. The landing also left Batman nearly unconscious, and the fragile wings destroyed.
At some point the scene was rethought after Wesley Strick become the on-set writer and construction of the folding wingspan began. It also unknown which of the conceptual illustrators designed the glider wings. The scene was storyboarded by Michael Anthony Jackson.
Fullsize folding wingsEdit
A functional cloth covered wingspan was made for the reveal shot. Dave Lea was in the suit while the folding cloth cape was being operated. The specifics are scarce, nothing about the sequence is mentioned on the 2005 dvd features. At least two other capes were made to complete the effect, one for the closeup and a third for the shot of him jumping off a the ledge with a fully rigid, non-cloth cape.
A miniature of Batman with the glider cape was constructed by unknown individuals at 4-Ward Productions.
In 2014, the glider cape prominently displayed at the Batman Exhibit in the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour. On the rare occasion that a Batman Returns figure is released, the glider cape is never included for reasons unknown.
- Kevin Smith parodied the iconic glider cape sequence in his 1995 film, Mallrats. Smith's character, "Silent Bob" wears a Batman helmet, spreads his wings and attempts to "glide" in a similar manner.
- WB's 2005 Batman Begins "reboot" brought back the idea of the transforming glider cape. It is used more often and explained within the reality of the film as a pre-existing invention at Wayne Enterprises, a material that becomes rigid when a electrical current runs through it.