Batman’s cinematic history is a long one, but none of its installments has stirred up as much controversy as Batman & Robin. The sequel was helmed by Joel Schumacher, and it continues to live in infamy even today. The ridiculed film left fans with dozens of questions, but nothing piqued interest more so than the project’s so-called Bat Nipples. Now, the director is addressing the perky controversy, and Schumacher admits he felt the detail was cool.
Speaking with Vice, the director sat down to talk about his tenure with Batman and even apologized for Batman & Robin. It was there Schumacher opened up about Batman’s anatomically correct suit, and it sounds like the director tacked on the peaks in the heat of the moment.
“Well, it was made by Jose Fernandez, who was our brilliant lead sculpture,” Schumacher said about the Batman suit.
“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,” the director continued.
“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.”
For some fans, the nipples were the film’s least offensive addition, but fans have continued to craft busty memes about Batman’s suit. The costume continues to rank amongst the worst ever produced for a superhero flick, but Schumacher’s nipples still can’t take down other comic book offenders. Fans will never forgive Catwoman for its slinky bondage costume, and DC diehards refuse to acknowledge that Ryan Reynold’s CGI Green Lantern onesie even exists.
The interview also saw Schumacher profusely apologize for the Batman sequel even being made. “Look, I apologize. I want to apologize to every fan that was disappointed because I think I owe them that,” the director said.
Later, Schumacher admitted he knew the sequel wasn't needed when he was approached about the feature. “You know, I just knew not to do a sequel. If you get lucky, walk away. But everybody at Warner Brothers just expected me to do one. Maybe it was some hubris on my part. I had a batting average of 1,000, so I went from falling down a bit after Lost Boys, to a kind of a genius with The Client, a big blockbuster with Batman Forever, then had great reviews with A Time to Kill, so my batting average was good. I never planned on being, that dreadful quote, “a blockbuster king” because my other films were much smaller and had just found success with the audience and not often with the critics, which is really why we wrote them. And then after Batman & Robin, I was scum. It was like I had murdered a baby.”