Hollywood Lost and Found
Props and Artifacts
"Batman" Crew Jacket
During the making of a motion picture - particularly a large studio production it is customary for the producers to have special jackets made for the members of the crew, the cast, and their friends.
These jackets usually feature the logo of the film on the front or back, and depending on the kind of film it is (and its budget), they can be very nice.
These jackets are one of the perks that crew members have come to expect
and on particularly grueling films, it may be the only one they get. Some crew jackets have become prized memorabilia that Hollywood insiders treasure for years. They also can be seen occasionally for sale at various auction sites online, such as the HollywoodLostAndFound Auctions on eBay.
Its not often that a particular films jacket has as interesting a story attached to it as the one told about the jackets made for the cast and crew of Batman (1989).
The alleged story that circulated among the film's crew involved the star, Jack Nicholson - who played the Joker. As the story goes, when Nicholson saw the proposed design of the crew jackets, which was to use a satin-type material, Jack stepped in and suggested black leather instead.
According to the story told in the book Hit & Run by Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters, $10,000 had been allocated for the "Batman" crew jackets in the film's budget. But changing their design to black leather would cost a bit more than that. Nicholson made a verbal agreement with producer Jon Peters to split the costs over and above the allotted amount - but when a bill arrived for $100,000, Peters reneged.
As the book alleges, the production manager of the film, Nigel Wood, had the unfortunate job of telling Jack Nicholson that it would cost $90,000 more to cover the costs of the jackets. Nicholson stormed over to actress Kim Basinger, who played Vicki Vale in the movie. The book alleges that she was having an affair with Jon Peters during the film's production - and that Nicholson, in an outrage, snapped at her "Tell that guy whose c**k you've been sucking for the past six months that he's an a**hole for not paying for the jackets!"
The book concedes that, at least, that was the story that made the rounds in Hollywood for months.
As for the cost of the jackets... apparently Warner Bros. absorbed the overage. But "Batman" was one of the studio's most successful releases - earning over an estimated $413,000,000 to date worldwide. So, what's a few thousand dollars, anyway...?
...And anyone who is lucky enough to have one of these fantastic jackets can tell you - they are pretty cool.
Updated 16 October 2005
Griffin, Nancy, and Kim Masters. Hit & Run. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.
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