Na na na na na na na na no thanks! That is probably what most people have to say about the state of #Batman in 1997, a.k.a. the year that #superhero films died. There is no denying that #JoelSchumacher's second entry in the Batman franchise displayed some questionable taste; so, between Uma's Madonna cones glued to her head, to our "frosty" reception toward Arnie's performance, Batman & Robin should've never really left the nest.
While Schumacher ended his tenure with our dynamic duo and "Buttgirl" running from the Batcave, most were glad that it was over and felt no need for a sequel. However, there was one dangling thread of mystery that has always kept us guessing. It is a question that has puzzled cinephiles for the past two decades, but now, after 20 years after lambasting Schumacher's superhero sucker, we finally have an answer to the biggest unsolved mystery in Hollywood: "Why did you stick nipples on the Batsuit?"
Making A Tit Out Of Yourself
Remembering Batman & Robin, it was crotch-shots galore as Schumacher's directorial decision seemed to just be "zoom in on the genitals." Heroes are always known for their tight-fitting suits, but Batman & Robin really took the biscuit. In particular, the issue of Batman, Robin, and Batgirl having superfluous nipples on the outside of their suits was a big gripe surrounding the film. Clearly they weren't there for Robin to suckle at Batman's bosom, so what was their purpose? Speaking at the film's 20th anniversary with Vice, Schumacher finally "nipped" the rumors in the bud:
“Well, it was made by Jose Fernandez, who was our brilliant lead sculpture. 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.”
Schumacher praised the advances from the boxy days of the Burton/Keaton era, but is new costume-making methods really a reason to shoehorn nipples in that could take your eye out? Superhero films in particular have a checkered past with their outfits, and while Zack Snyder may be a master at pairing street Bruce Wayne with apocalyptic chic, other directors aren't that lucky. If you ever dared to watch Catwoman, you might know that the film was called out for its bondage-style outfit, which only added to Halle Berry's many headaches on a film that neatly fits into the B&R category of sewer run-off.
We all saw how Snyder tastefully handled that big blue peen in Watchmen, but that entire film had a much more adult premise; Schumacher's film was basically one cut away from having "POW" written in giant letters. If Batman & Robin had been some war epic or an erotic saga akin to 50 Shades then maybe, but it seems that Schumacher was too caught up in his own horny vision to see the whole thing fall apart in front of his eyes. One thing is for sure though, no one will be hot gluing some nips onto our favorite superheroes anytime soon.
Thankfully/unfortunately, nipples were the least of Schumacher's worries when it came to the film's critical panning. Still languishing at a mediocre 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, and with cast and crew apologizing all over the place, this is one dark night that our Dark Knight would certainly like to forget. From that period that Bruce Wayne used to kill people to the time we introduced Batgirl and Batwoman just so our heroes didn't seem quite so "gay," there have been many controversies across the legacy of Batman. However, stupid decisions aside, affixing nipples to the Caped Crusader may be one of the dumbest (Bat Card included).
Check out the trailer for Batman & Robin and don't forget our poll below!
Do you forgive Schumacher for his nip-slip?