Naomi Scott’s Jasmine in the live-action Aladdin
Disney can’t seem to translate the cartoon outfits to their live-action films. In the original film, Jasmine’s crop top look is iconic and memorable, but in changing things up Disney took a big risk. The live-action film covers a lot more of Jasmine’s midriff which some fans had a lot to say about. The filmmakers wanted to stay closer to the area’s cultural dress than the original outfit, but it was a controversial choice.
January Jones’ Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class
X-Men’s Emma Frost was supposed to have many outfits throughout the film, which she did. Most of them were revealing forms of lingerie in one way or another. Fans had a lot to say about these outfits, but according to one of the writers, the explanation for the outfits had been in scenes that were cut from the final film.
Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn outfit in Suicide Squad
The Suicide Squad movie united many favourite characters from the DC Comics rogue’s gallery. Their classic costumes were revised including that of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, whose old jester suit was replaced with a new and much skimpier outfit. From the “Daddy’s Little Monster” tee to the very revealing shorts, some fans did not feel like this was a fair or accurate portrayal of their beloved anti-heroine.
Carrie Fisher’s gold bikini in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
Princess Leia of Star Wars is one of the most adored franchise leading ladies of all time. The gold bikini she wears in Return of the Jedi is both loved and criticized amongst Star Wars fans. Though the design is interesting, Leia is forced to wear it due to her being enslaved by the slobbering Jabba the Hutt, making the context somewhat gross and sexist.
Henry Cavill’s Superman in Man of Steel
Superman: Man of Steel gave the character a new spin and darker side than fans had seen before. Being such a famous character with an iconic outfit, fans were expecting the classic underpants of the suit that Superman had always worn before, but Henry Cavill’s super suit included nothing of the sort. While the new outfit worked well with the themes of the film, fans had quite the reaction when they found this out.
Lynn Collins’ Martian princess outfit in John Carter
Actress Lynn Collins played Martian princess Dejah Thoris in 2012’s John Carter. She requested costume changes to make it less revealing but fans still thought it was too revealing for a warrior princess character. The original design would have been even more revealing if it was based on the book character, who wears nothing but excessive jewelry.
Milla Jovovich’s bodysuit in The Fifth Element
Milla Jovovich plays humanoid Leelo in the 1997 film The Fifth Element. The bodysuit she wears in one scene, designed by Jean Paul Gaultier like the rest of the wardrobe, was a highly controversial piece. This is largely due to the outfit’s highly revealing nature. The bodysuit was inspired by bandages, covering just the essential parts and allowing for as much skin access as possible for medical needs.
Joaquin Phoenix’s suit in Joker
Joker was an absolute hit when it was released, and rightly so. They took a big risk in changing the Joker, played by Joaquin Phoenix, from wearing his classic purple suit which he dons in nearly every other adaptation to a red and mustard one. The costume designer told the press that it was changed to be more realistic to the 70s time period the film was set in. This was not enough for some fans, considering what a bold statement the red suit still is.
Sigourney Weaver’s underwear in Alien
Towards the end of sci-fi masterpiece Alien, Sigourney Weaver strips down to an undershirt and pants while she is battling the alien onboard the spacecraft. While some viewers thought she was debasing herself for the role, Weaver supported the outfit choice at the time. Since then she too has criticized the underwear scenes for objectifying the female body and has decided she will no longer allow her characters to be objectified in that way.
Olivia Newton-John’s tight black getup in Grease
Grease is one of those movies that changed the trajectory of its genre, and the makers made absolutely sure that Sandy’s final outfit in the film would be unforgettable. The outfit was the tightest thing some people had ever seen, which makes sense because it was sewn right on to her body for a second-skin look. It even caused enough of a stir to have real-world effects on the fashion industry.
Emma Watson’s ballgown in Beauty and the Beast
Live-action Disney adaptations never seem to get it right. In Beauty and the Beast, Emma Watson had refused to wear a corset which threw off the accuracy of the designs already. This combined with the very simple yellow ballgown design in comparison to the original cartoon adaptation’s made for an underwhelming effect. Fans couldn’t help but be disappointed by the gown when the animated original had set their standards so high.
Gal Gadot’s wedge heels in Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman’s costume was praised for its style and function but Gal Gadot’s shoe design caused controversy as they were wedge heels. Fans believed this emphasized her sexiness and femininity instead of her power as a hero.
George Clooney’s Batsuit with nipples in Batman & Robin
Batman & Robin directed by Joel Schumacher was criticized by fans for all sorts of reasons. As badly received as it was, the costume George Clooney wore for Batman was one of the worst parts of it. When you say Bat-nipples to a Batman fan, they’ll know exactly the suit you’re talking about. Changing the outfit of a universally loved character so drastically and so much for the worse is inevitably going to result in controversy.
Theda Bara’s entire wardrobe in Cleopatra
When you think of a 1917 film, utterly scandalous revealing outfits probably aren’t what comes to mind. Theda Bara wore 50 costumes throughout Cleopatra, and some of them left nearly everything out in the open. Bara was dedicated to ensuring the accuracy of the costumes being used, but when people are still scandalised by revealing outfits today, it’s not a shock that this was controversial when the film first came out over 100 years ago.
Olivia Munn’s Psylocke in X-Men: Apocalypse
X-men seem to have blunder after blunder when it comes to costuming. For once, though, it wasn’t just the super-fans up in arms about a costume. When Olivia Munn was put into a revealing bodysuit as Psylocke, viewers had a lot to say about it being too provocative and exposed, particularly in comparison to the suits her male counterparts wore. Munn defended the character, saying she was a strong and powerful woman regardless of what she was wearing.
Whitney Houston’s out-there outfit in The Bodyguard
For one of the world’s greatest artists to appear in a film was already a major risk. This outfit is so sci-fi or comic-book-esque despite The Bodyguard not properly fitting into these genres. Viewers were baffled by the outfit and simply didn’t know what to make of it. What made the matter more confusing was that no one in the crew would explain the outfit to the press either.
Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Batman Returns
Michelle Pfeiffer’s version of Catwoman is one of the most beloved renditions of the character, but the suit she was made to wear for the film was far from perfect. While it look astounding aesthetically, Pfeiffer says it is the most uncomfortable costume she has ever had to wear. She had to be powdered down and helped into the suit before they vacuum-packed her into it, making movement incredibly challenging.
Sean Connery’s mankini in Zardoz
In 1974’s Zardoz, Sean Connery plays a follower of an oppressive god in a post-apocalyptic world. So oppressive is this diety, he makes his devotees wear orange mankinis and thigh-high boots. This revealing look was unexpected from the James Bond actor, being pretty out there in more ways than one. Viewers found it to be ridiculous and thought Connery had made a fool of himself by taking the role at all.
Jacqueline Bissett’s T-shirt in The Deep
Underwater thriller The Deep came out in 1977, and followed a team of treasure hunters scuba diving to find valuable goods. Jacqueline Bissett’s outfits weren’t all befitting a scuba diver, however, and seemed to be more an excuse to ogle the actress, particularly as she wore a thin white T-shirt in the water. Professional diving attire? Maybe not, but it sure caused a stir.
The Patil Twins’ Yule Ball dresses in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
When Harry and Ron took the Patil tins (played by Afshan Azad and Shefali Chowdhury) to the Yule Ball, fans thought this would be a chance to see beautiful traditional Indian occasion clothing. The results left a lot to be desired, being very simple and a little tacky. Fans, particularly those of South Asian origin, were understandably displeased with this disingenuous portrayal of their own culture’s clothing.
Karen Gillan’s tiny shorts and T-shirt in Jumanji
When the first cast pictures from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle were released, fans were unsure what to make of it. The fact that the only female character was dressed in such a revealing way, with bare arms, legs and midriff, sparked accusations of sexism before the film was released. However, as Gillan reassured fans at the time, the sexist nature of her Ruby Roundhouse outfit actually has relevance to the plot.
Rebel Wilson’s sleeved top in Pitch Perfect 3
Rebel Wilson posted a picture of herself and two other Pitch Perfect 3 actresses in full costume on her Instagram in the runup to the film being released. In it the two other actresses are wearing sleeveless halter-neck tops while Wilson has short sleeves. The public went a little wild, criticizing the film for plus-size discrimination, since Rebel Wilson was the only one with a higher coverage costume. It turned out that the actresses had all had a choice in their costume and Wilson had personally opted for sleeves.
Bryce Dallas Howard’s heels in Jurassic World
Throughout Jurassic World, Chris Pratt’s man’s man character takes the time to ridicule Bryce Dallas Howard’s white skirt suit outfit and high heels throughout the film. Though they are indeed incredibly inconvenient shoes, Howard’s character keeps them for the duration of the film which had fans both laughing and frustrated. While Howard stands by her character Claire’s shoe choices, audiences around the world couldn’t help but mock them.
Themysciran armour in Justice League
Wonder Woman’s costume was praised for its style and function but Justice League’s redesign made Amazons’ armor revealing and less practical. Fans criticized the change as unnecessary and sexist, noting a female designer worked on Wonder Woman and a male designer on Justice League.
Jamie Foxx’s sunglasses in Django Unchained
Quentin Tarantino is known for his strong choices in the films he directs. Jamie Foxx wears a powerful look for some of the film, but viewers noticed that the sunglasses his character Django wears are not fitting to the time period the film is set in. While this caused a lot of talk and a bit of controversy, the film was good enough that viewers ended up not caring too much about the sunglasses.
Ryan Reynolds’ super suit in Green Lantern
Green Lantern tried to do something revolutionary with its superhero outfit by making it entirely CGI. However, it was instantly noticeable as a CGI suit on-screen rather than looking otherworldly and wondrous which made the whole look fall flat. Ryan Reynolds himself said he hated the bodysuit he had to wear when filming for it to later be brought to life digitally. There was so much wrong with Green Lantern and the super suit sure didn’t help!
Constance Wu’s blue gown in Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians was a hit when it came out and was full of over-the-top outfits and a tonne of glamour. Constance Wu wore a stunning pale blue gown in one of her scenes that was, on closer inspection, rather sheer in the chest area. Considering the more conservative vibe of the gown, to have it practically see-through made fans do a double-take.
Marilyn Monroe’s dress in The Seven Year Itch
Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch is one of the most iconic images in film ever. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ve seen the moment when her dress blows up over the city street vents. The moment lead to Monroe being severely abused by her then-partner Joe DiMaggio, and was considered particularly scandalous by the film crew and viewers both.
Brie Larson’s green suit in Captain Marvel
Behind-the-scenes images from Captain Marvel were leaked to the public before the film’s release. This is because the outfit Larson was wearing in the pictures was a green suit and not the classic red and blue suit they were expecting. Though they were soon informed that the green suit would be swapped out for the classic one later in the film, it sure caused some controversy online.
Lily James’ corseted gown in the live-action Cinderella
When Disney was bringing Cinderella to life in 2015, they designed a new blue ballgown for Cinderella herself to wear. The dress was criticised by a certain viewership for setting unreasonable body standards because of Cinderella’s tiny waist in the gown. Lily James responded to these criticisms, saying she naturally has a small waist and that the dress had a built-in corset to provide the desired look. The gown was much more about its beauty and craftsmanship than it was about a tiny waist.
Chris Evans’ Captain America suit in The Avengers
When The Avengers brought the big Marvel stars together for the first time in 2012, a lot of thought had been put into the superheroes’ outfits. All of them, that is, except Captain America’s which just looked a bit tacky and cartoonish next to all the others. Fortunately the brightly coloured suit was exchanged for a subtler, cooler looking one for the next film, but fans were not happy with it in The Avengers.
Sarah Jessica Parker’s branded outfits in Sex and the City: The Movie
What made Carrie Bradshaw’s outfits so charming in the Sex and the City television series was how the character pieced thrifted pieces together for a mish-mash outfit that just worked and that any girl next door could throw together. The movie took a completely different spin on fashion which had Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Carrie wearing designer brands left right and center. Fans were not impressed!
David Bowie’s bulge in Labyrinth
Jim Henson’s Labyrinth was an unconventional film in many ways, but it is ultimately a family film first and foremost. David Bowie plays goblin king Jareth who has a rather prominent bulge in very tight trousers that parents thought inappropriate for a children’s film. The tale does centre around a teenage girl’s coming of age and expressing some kind of sexuality felt relevant to Henson, but oh boy does the film put Bowie’s bulge in your face.
Maureen O’Sullivan’s Jane in Tarzan and His Mate
This 1934 film took risks with its revealing outfits. While Tarzan wore what was little more than a loin cloth, Jane’s outfit was both short and flowy, meaning it seemed like it would come off at any second. The costume caused outrage as viewers cried scandal but O’Sullivan herself did not find the costume to be particularly scandalous at all. The original concept for the costume had been strategically placed leaves– one can only imagine how viewers would have reacted to that!
Evangeline Lilly’s Wasp suit in Ant-Man and the Wasp
Everyone expected Evangeline Lilly to be put in a black and yellow super suit for Ant-Man and the Wasp because she plays a character called the Wasp, of course! When the filmmakers opted for blue instead, fans were left a little confused. There was even more controversy surrounding this costume because of the prominence of the chest area of the suit. They really didn’t need to emphasise things like that!
The Redcoats in Pirates of the Caribbean
Viewers were not too upset at this one, as historical accuracy is not really the main point of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. That being said, those who were invested in the historical fashion side of things noted that the British soldiers being dressed in red was not fitting to the time period. The costumes were a bit ahead of their time and the filmmakers had opted for aesthetics here.
Ben Affleck’s devilish suit in Daredevil
Before Ben Affleck was Batman, he was Daredevil, and the costume might just be one of the reasons people remember this role less. The filmmakers had wanted to stay true to the comics and recreate the outfit exactly, but the head-to-toe shiny red leather just came across as tacky and even a bit cringe on the big screen. the overall effect? Not exactly super.
Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique in X-Men
When adapting X-Men from the comics, one of the trickiest characters to translate was Mystique with her interesting skin texture and being blue all over. However, in the comics Mystique is never totally nude the way she is in the films. Fans were at odds about this change, since it seemed to be made just to make the character more provocative. There didn’t appear to be a reason that she couldn’t wear her white dress from the comics in her natural form.
Kristen Stewart’s hair in Eclipse
When the Twilight Saga’s third instalment Eclipse hit the big screens, fans noticed that Kristen Stewart’s hair just looked that little bit different, despite the hairstyle actually being the same. It turned out that Stewart was actually wearing a wig instead of using her natural hair like she had in the previous films. This was because she had cut her real hair to film The Runaways around that time.
Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin in Spider-Man
When Willem Dafoe was set to play Green Goblin across from Toby Maguire as Spiderman, people were buzzing. The costume completely ruined what could have been, though. The Green Goblin helmet looked like cheap hard plastic and hid Dafoe’s face. What a waste of such an expressive actor! How do you ruin something with that much potential so completely?
Tropic Thunder’s use of makeup
The phrase “that couldn’t get made today” gets thrown around far too often, but in the case of Tropic Thunder it’s one hundred percent accurate. It’s frankly astonishing that, even in 2008, Robert Downey Jr spending much of the film in blackface didn’t get anyone cancelled. In 2020 someone tried to resurrect the issue on Twitter, but most people moved on after Jamie Foxx defended Downey on the Joe Rogan podcast.
Neville’s fat suit in Harry Potter
Neville Longbottom’s heroic character arc in the later Harry Potter films doesn’t compensate for the fact that, for the franchise’s earlier instalments, actor Matthew Lewis was made to wear a fat suit. Lewis later revealed that the ordeal knocked his confidence both on and off set, as everyone assumed he was far larger than he actually was. Since the character’s weight doesn’t factor into the story at all, it’s hard not to feel like the filmmakers were just trying to mine a few cheap laughs.
The new Green Goblin in Spider-Man 3
Willem Defoe’s Green Goblin costume was divisive, with some thinking that it looked cheap and tacky, and others feeling it was genuinely menacing. However, everyone agreed that James Franco’s costume for the new Green Goblin was plainly terrible. The helmet in particular just makes absolutely no sense, with most of Franco’s head completely unprotected, and the character ended up looking more like a professional snowboarder than a comic book villain.
Ron Perlman’s Hellboy prosthetics
Ron Perlman was lauded for his portrayal of the eponymous demon in Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy films, but getting into character came at a cost for the actor. Before shooting could commence, Perlman had to sit still for four hours while his prosthetics and makeup were applied, and it took a further three hours to get them off at the end of the shoot. Del Toro believes Perlman decided not to reprise his role for Hellboy 3 because he couldn’t face going through the gruelling process again.
Judge Dredd’s helmet
The comic book version of Judge Dredd is famous for never removing his helmet under any circumstances, so fans were roundly horrified after Sylvester Stallone ditched his headgear barely 20 minutes into the first Judge Dredd movie. To be fair to the filmmakers, it’s hard to show off your star if they spend the entire movie hidden behind a mask, so their decision could be viewed as understandable. However, fans weren’t inclined to share this charitable assessment and condemned the film for what they saw as sacrilegious butchering of the source material.
Deadpool’s look in X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Deadpool, Marvel’s notoriously verbose super-assassin, is often referred to in his comics as “the merc with a mouth.” It appears that the concept artists for X-Men Origins: Wolverine misread that as “the merc with no mouth,” because that’s exactly what they went with. Sewing up the mouth of a character known for having verbal diarrhoea is a baffling choice, and one that fans were scornful of.
Brendan Fraser’s fat suit in The Whale
Brendan Fraser’s comeback vehicle The Whale was attracting controversy for being fatphobic before it was even released, and the criticism didn’t end once the movie hit theatres. Director Darren Aronofsky defended his film, describing it as “an exercise in empathy,” but some critics remained unconvinced and the movie has been accused of turning the issue of obesity into a freak show-like spectacle.
Quicksilver’s new look in X-Men: Days of Future Past
Comic book fans take tradition very seriously, especially when it comes to the looks of their beloved characters. When Quicksilver made his much vaunted debut in X-Men: Days of Future Past, many were taken aback by the striking departure from the character’s comic book costume. Whereas the original Quicksilver wore a sleek silver and white bodysuit, the new iteration took a notably more laidback approach to fashion, rocking a Pink Floyd T-shirt, biker jacket and jeans.
Natalie Portman in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones
Trying to sneak eye candy into Star Wars films is borderline traditional at this point. Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Padme established her as a bona fide superstar, but her costume in Star Wars: Episode II attracted plenty of criticism for being unnecessarily revealing. The film’s attempts to justify the amount of skin Portman has on display by making an alien rip off half of her outfit felt awkwardly forced and somehow made the whole thing even sleazier.
The Thing in 2005’s Fantastic Four
The process of turning Michael Chiklis into The Thing was so gruelling – requiring the actor to sit still for hours whilst rock-like prosthetics were stuck to his entire body – that he ended up seeking psychiatric help for the trauma. Unfortunately, the effort was categorically not worth it, with fans deriding the unrealistic and cheap-looking end result. Chiklis himself has agreed with these assessments, and described the ordeal as a “physical and psychological nightmare.”