The notorious bat suit worn by George Clooney in Batman & Robin (1997), which was the fourth and final installment of Warner Bros.’s initial Batman film series, is set to go up for auction.
This piece of movie memorabilia is best known for its very visible nipples, and the ridicule it has received in the 25 years since the film’s premiere.
The Batsuit is part of Heritage Auctions’ Hollywood & Entertainment Signature Auction that goes from July 22 through 23, with the starting bid set at $40,000.
Up for auction: The Batsuit worn by George Clooney in the film Batman & Robin (1997), complete with its notorious nipple enhancements, is up for auction through Heritage Auctions
Nipple-gate: Jose Fernandez, the man who constructed the Clooney Batsuit, claims late director Joel Schumacher told hm to enhance the nipples that were first added to Val Kilmer’s version of Batman in Batman Forever (1995)
Heritage Auctions went on to describe the Batsuit as ‘constructed of cast foam latex, vinyl, resin components, leather, and other mixed media elements 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.’
It continued, ‘Costume pieces include 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.’
The cowl and cape were actually both personalized with a “GC” on them, which are the initials for George Clooney.
OPener: Clooney’s Batsuit is up for auction July 22 and 23 with a starting bid set at $40,000
Construction: The suit is ‘constructed of cast foam latex, vinyl, resin components, leather, and other mixed media elements 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’
Bat mannequin: The suit also comes with a mannequin made to look like George Clooney
The idea to add nipples to the Batsuit actually started with the third installment in the film franchise, Batman Forever (1995), that starred Val Kilmer, according to People.
By the time it came to make Clooney’s Batsuit for the fourth film, Batman & Robin, the decision was made to enhance the nipples.
Suffice to say, those enhanced Bat-nips have become somewhat of a punchline with many fans in cinematic circles over the years.
As a result of all the jokes and negative banter, Heritage Auction’s executive vice president Joe Maddalena called the costume ‘easily the most famous and infamous Batman costume ever designed.’
Infamous nipple Batsuit: Clooney and the nipple-enhanced Batsuit have been the punchline of jokes in the 25 years since Batman & Robin premiered in theaters in June 1997; Clooney is pictures as the Caped Crusader
‘With Val Kilmer’s suit in Batman Forever, the nipples were one of those things that I added. It wasn’t fetish to me, it was more informed by Roman armor, like Centurions,’ said Jose Fernandez, the man who was responsible for enhancing the nipples.
‘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. I don’t know exactly where my head was at back in the day, but that’s what I remember. And so I added the nipples. I had no idea there was going to end up being all this buzz about it.’
Fernandez went on to reveal that it was late director Joel Schumacher who ‘loved the nipples’ and wanted to ‘showcase them’ in the Clooney sequel.
Tim Burton, the director of the first two Warner Bros. films with Michael Keaton – Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992) – was not a fan of the nipple idea.
More iconic memorabilia: In addition to Clooney’s Batman suit, more iconic props from the franchise will be available through the auction, including Jim Carrey’s Riddler cane from Batman Forever, which has a starting bid of $8,000
It turns out Burton dealt with complaints about his Batsuit tone being ‘too dark’ for the Batman franchise.
‘[Back then] they went the other way. That’s the funny thing about it,’ Burton recalled. ‘But then 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 f**k yourself.”‘
‘Seriously,’ he added. ‘So yeah, I think that’s why I didn’t end up [doing a third film]….’
Along with Clooney’s Batman suit, there are other iconic props from the franchise that are also up for auction, including Jim Carrey’s Riddler cane from Batman Forever, which has a starting bid of $8,000; Jack Nicholson’s purple Joker suit from Burton’s 1989 film Batman, that starting with an opening bid of $65,000; and Danny DeVito’s The Penguin signature umbrella that will open at $3,000.
Again, George Clooney’s famous Batman costume will be available as part of Heritage Auctions’ Hollywood & Entertainment Signature Auction starting on July 22, and goes through the following day, July 23.
Auction items: Jack Nicholson’s purple Joker suit from Burton’s 1989 film Batman is also available during the auction, starting with an opening bid of $65,000
Auction items: Danny DeVito’s The Penguin signature umbrella will open at $3,000