Heritage Auctions is selling the piece on July 22 and 23 with an opening bid set at $40,000.
Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin (1997), the sequel to Batman Forever (1995), was a box office failure. The film was criticised for its over-the-top tone, nonsensical plot, disappointing performances and, notably, Clooney’s Batman suit.
Batman & Robin, which currently has a 12 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, was so universally disliked, that Schumacher apologised in later interviews for succumbing to the studio’s demands to make the film as toyetic as possible for merchandising purposes.
However, tastes have changed over time. What was once shunned for its awkward flamboyance is now celebrated as a cartoonish piece of pop culture. The film has garnered a cult following online and inspired many memes and gifs over the years.
Even Clooney, who has criticised his own performance in the film and joked his wife Amal Clooney is banned from seeing it, admitted the role was his biggest break, completely changing the trajectory of his career.
The suit was ridiculed at the time. The defined muscles and moulded chest plate added to Clooney’s wooden performance.
While incredibly exaggerated in its definition, the suit marked a turning point in the evolution of the Batman costume. It forced designers and directors of future Batman films to focus on the superhero’s attractiveness as Bruce Wayne and how to translate it into the suit.
With direction from Schumacher and designer Bob Ringwood, the suit was designed by costume illustrator Miles Teves. Jose Fernandez, who worked in the costume and props department, sculpted the pieces of the suit from latex, vinyl, resin, leather and other elements.
Once purchased after the auction, the costume will be assembled over a mannequin with a "hyper-realistic George Clooney head", according to Heritage Auctions. The costume includes the full-length cape with two clips, a muscle tunic with the signature Batman icon on the chest, muscled tights, peaked and finned gauntlet gloves and knee-high character boots.