Batman Forever’s nipples were inspired by Roman armour

The infamous inclusion of nipples on the Batsuit in Joel Schumacher's Batman Forever has finally been explained, and it links to Roman armour

Val Kilmer as Batman in Batman Forever

The only thing Batman fans want to see in a Batman movie less than another retelling of Thomas and Martha Wayne’s death, are nipples. When Joel Schumacher’s ultra-camp ‘90s movies Batman Forever and Batman and Robin entered the DCEU, they brought with them the infamous Batsuit design which featured incredibly prominent nipples, for some reason.

Not my Batsuit! Those were the cries of many a Bat-fan at the time, and this sentiment still rings true to this day. Someone certainly has some explaining to do, and it turns out the man responsible for the costume design has come forward to offer his reasons for the nipples.

In a recent interview with Mel Magazine, costume designer and lead sculptor on the Batman movies Jose Fernandez discussed how the decision to incorporate nipples onto the Batsuits was heavily influenced by Roman armour. But, even he admits that the nipples were too much, especially when it came to the redesign for George Clooney’s one and only outing as the Caped Crusader in Batman and Robin.

“With Val Kilmer’s suit in Batman Forever, the nipples were one of those things that I added,” Fernandez admitted. “It wasn’t fetish to me, it was more informed by Roman armour – like Centurions,” he added.

“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,” Fernandez explained. “And so, I added the nipples. I had no idea there was going to end up being all this buzz about it.”

Fernandez doesn’t take all the blame though, and it sounds like Schumacher was more than keen to ramp up the prominence of the areola for his second outing as a Batman director.

“For Batman and Robin, Joel Schumacher loved the nipples, so he said, ‘Let’s showcase them’. Schumacher wanted them sharpened, like, with points,” Fernandez recalled. “I didn’t want to do it, but he’s the boss, so we sharpened them, circled them and it all became kind of ridiculous.”