Tim Burton has addressed one of DC’s longest-running comic book controversies: the nipples that appeared on Joel Schumacher’s hallowed Batsuit. batman forever and batman and robin.
Burton brought the Batman franchise to the big screen for DC and Warner Bros. with the years 1989 Batman and its sequel Return of Batman which, to some accustomed to the campy small-screen antics of Adam West and Burt Ward, seemed too dark, “too weird,” as Burton describes the reaction. The studio then chose Schumacher, who rendered the Caped Crusader in the campy tailoring it was on TV.
“They went the other way,” Burton recently told Empire Magazine. “That’s the funny thing about it. But then I was like, ‘Wait a minute. OK. Wait a second here. You complain about me, I’m too weird, I’m too dark, and then you put nipples on the suit? Kiss my ass. Seriously. So yeah, I think that’s why I didn’t finish [doing another film in the series].”
Much ink has been spilled over the suit, worn by Val Kilmer in batman forever and George Clooney in batman and robin.
“I wasn’t thrilled with the nipples on the batsuit,” Clooney said in 2014. “You know it’s not something you really think about when you put it on. You think all batsuits have nipples, then you realize yours was really first in. Batman was just constantly cold, I guess.
Schumacher defended the decision.
“By the time Batman Forever arrived, rubber molding had become so much more advanced,” he told Vice in 2017’s books. He did the nipples and when I looked at them I thought, that’s cool.