The Batsuit costume worn by George Clooney in Batman & Robin, known for its close attention to anatomical detail, is set to go up for auction.
Heritage Auctions described the Batsuit, set at a starting bid of $40,000 (£33,300), 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”.
The auctioneers’ executive vice president Joe Maddalena also called the costume “easily the most famous and infamous Batman costume ever designed”, presumably in reference to its detailed nipples, which have provoked light-hearted derision since its release.
“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, who provided the additional detail on the costume.
“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 added that late director Joel Schumacher “loved the nipples” and wanted to “showcase them” in Batman & Robin, which was released in 1997 as the fourth release in Warner Bros. movie franchise following Batman (1989), Batman Returns (1992) and Batman Forever (1995).
Other props up for auction include Jack Nicholson’s purple Joker suit from Batman, the umbrella used by Danny DeVito’s The Penguin in Batman Returns, and Jim Carrey’s Riddler cane from Batman Forever.
All the items will be available as part of Heritage Auctions’ Hollywood & Entertainment Signature Auction, which runs from July 22-23.