BATMAN & ROBIN…Nipplegate or How To Ruin A Franchise

When you’re a big deal in Hollywood, you think any decision you make is gold….except for that one with nipples on the bat suit.

Back in the 90s, there was a run of Batman movies that were brightly colored and the heroes in the bat suit varied. Mr. Mom star, Michael Keaton, proved that he could walk away from Beetlejuice and make you believe in Batman again.  Val Kilmer was slightly less suave, but I believe he was the inspiration to Christian Bales’ “I am Batman” whisper.  George Clooney had the most potential to make Batman believable and not a campy ride, except that the whole movie was crap, the bad guys were jokes, and, oh , yes….Nipplegate.

Joel Schumacher, who filmed “Batman Forever” and 1997’s disatrous “Batman and Robin”, recently “apologized” for that final movie, one that could have ruined the franchise forever because of “distractingly large nipples”.  Well, truth be told, pun-laden dialogue and ridiculous villians played a role too.  Joel spoke about the costuming of Batman and Robin, and how those fateful nipples took Joel’s reputation down a few notches:

[The costume] was made by Jose Fernandez, who was our brilliant lead sculpture. If you look at Batman and Batman Returns, it was the genius, Bob Ringwood that created those suits, so by the time we got to Batman Forever, the rubber and techniques had gotten so sophisticated. If you look at when Michael Keaton appears in the first suit, you’ll notice how large it is. It was brilliant but the best they could do at the time. By the time Batman Forever came around, rubber molding had become so much more advanced. So I said, let’s make it anatomical and gave photos of those Greek status and those incredible anatomical drawings you see in medical books. He did the nipples and when I looked at them, I thought, that’s cool.

Read the complete interview with filmmaker Joel Schumacher  at VICE .