The infamous costume worn by George Clooney in Joel Schumacher’s “Batman & Robin” will soon be up for auction. And the defined nipple suit is just the tip of the “Batman” memorabilia available on which to bid.
As part of Heritage Auctions’ Hollywood & Entertainment Signature Auction during July 22 through 23, iconic ’90s “Batman” props will be available to purchase. Jim Carrey’s Riddler cane from “Batman Forever” has a starting bid of $8,000 and Jack Nicholson’s purple Joker suit from Tim Burton’s “Batman” can be yours for at least $65,000.
Yet the crown jewel of the collection remains the nipple suit, opening at $40,000 and expected to go much higher in bidding. The 1997 Batman costume is constructed of cast foam latex, vinyl, resin components, and leather, per the auction house. The suit was “all expertly painted, finished and assembled on a life-size pose-able mannequin with a hyper-realistic George Clooney head with prosthetic grade false eyes.”
The costume pieces include the “hero signature cowl, full length superhero cape with 2-cape clips, muscle tunic with signature ‘Batman’ icon on the chest, muscled tights, peaked and finned gauntlet gloves, and knee-high character boots.”
Heritage Auction’s executive vice president Joe Maddalena called the costume “easily the most famous and infamous Batman costume ever designed” in part due to the ongoing debate of its campiness involving Burton, Clooney, and Schumacher.
“To his credit, Joel Schumacher never apologized for the ‘Bat-nipples.’ In fact, he once told Vice, ‘I’m still glad we did it,’” Joe Maddalena said. “And I am just as glad we have the chance now to offer this piece of cinema history to someone who can appreciate the costume as much as Schumacher clearly did.”
Schumacher previously quipped that the bat nipples would be on his “gravestone.” The prolific director died in 2020 at the age of 80.
“It wasn’t fetish to me, it was more informed by Roman armor — like Centurions,” Fernandez told MEL Magazine. “And, in the comic books, the characters always looked like they were naked with spray paint on them — it was all about anatomy, and I like to push anatomy.”
He added, “For ‘Batman & Robin’, Joel Schumacher loved the nipples, so he said, ‘Let’s showcase them.’ Schumacher wanted them sharpened, like, with points. They were also circled, both outer and inner — it was all made into a feature of the batsuit. I didn’t want to do it, but he’s the boss, so we sharpened them, circled them and it all became kind of ridiculous.”
“Batman Returns” director Tim Burton also slammed Schumacher’s “Batman Forever,” released after the studio grew disillusioned Burton’s dark take on the Gotham Knight. “I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Okay. Hold on a second here. You complain about me, I’m too weird, I’m too dark, and then you put nipples on the costume? Go fuck yourself,’” Burton vented to Empire magazine. “Seriously. So yeah, I think that’s why I didn’t end up [doing a third film]…”