Although you could complain about nearly every aspect of Joel Schumacher’s 1997 film Batman & Robin, one of the most baffling elements comes from the costume design. That’s right, the Bat-Nipples.
Now the director has taken the time for an interview with Vice, and explains everything about the film from its production to its current legacy. And, regarding the infamous Bat-Nipples, he had this to say:
“[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.”
He continued to explain how the fans’ reactions to his decision were never intended, and that he didn’t expect any of the backlash.
“I really never thought that would happen. I really didn’t. Maybe I was just naive, but I’m still glad we did it.”
It’s certainly interesting to see how such a jarring and bizarre costume element came about, and how Schumacher feels about it today.