Batman’s appearance has evolved time and time again in both the comics and on screen, changing to fit whatever tone is required for each particular incarnation of the Caped Crusader. As a result of this, fans have seen everything from a dark and ultra-realistic version of the Dark Knight in Batman Begins to the campy delights of Adam West’s original Batman TV show. While the latter costume was hardly the best that the superhero genre has to offer, it made sense in the context of the era and general tone that the producers were looking for. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for George Clooney’s outfit in Batman & Robin.
Clooney wasn’t the only one decked out poorly, but with no other live-action incarnations to compare them to, Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze only looked somewhat ridiculous in comparison, whereas Clooney’s Batman was an affront to fans who had stuck by the Caped Crusader following Batman Forever.
Gone was the streamlined black suit worn by Michael Keaton in the first two Batman movies. In its place was a blue chrome costume that included secret Bat-skates and obvious Bat-nipples, which protruded from Clooney’s chest with distracting flair. Merchandising was key to the success of the Batman franchise from the beginning, but few could have predicted that Warner Bros. would go all the way and dress Clooney like an actual toy lifted straight from the shelf.