Since becoming a star on TV’s ER, actor George Clooney has gone on to win several awards and he’s become one of the biggest names in Hollywood. His latest film, Tomorrowland, just opened in theaters, and Clooney’s been in several movies that he’s more than likely quite proud of. However, director Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin is absolutely not one of them. In fact, he’s embarrassed by the movie from 1997.
At last year’s New York Comic-Con, the actor apologized to fans during the Tomorrowland panel for “ruining” Batman. He even apologized to Adam West, the star of the 1966 Batman TV series, during the convention and joked about Batman & Robin’s infamous bat-nipples and the staggering amount of ice puns Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze made in the film. Now, Clooney’s apologized for the film yet again.
During a recent episode of The Graham Norton Show, Clooney called the comic book movie a “disaster.” When Norton asked if he did indeed apologize for the movie during last year’s Comic-Con, the Tomorrowland star replied, “I always apologize for Batman & Robin.” He even told audiences why he took the role:
“I thought at the time this was going to be a very good career move. Um, it wasn’t.”
The former Batman went on to say that he thought the movie completely destroyed the franchise at the time. Fortunately, Clooney’s concerns were unfounded – Christopher Nolan and actor Christian Bale’s take on DC’s iconic hero is widely considered to have set the character on the right track.
Of course, Batman & Robin isn’t the only Batman movie that isn’t held in high esteem these days. Batman Forever, Joel Schumacher’s first Dark Knight installment from 1995, receives almost as much ridicule because of just how silly and over-the-top it was – few can forget Tommy Lee Jones and Jim Carrey’s reign of terror as Two-Face and The Riddler. While Tim Burton attempted to make Gotham City a dark and Gothic place, Schumacher’s films seemed to blatantly try to win over younger moviegoers by making the tone much lighter and adding a whole lot of silliness.
Clooney also spoke a bit about what it was like to work on the movie. He called the suit “brutal,” saying it weighed 60 pounds and made it challenging for him to move. He also joked about Schumacher’s “eccentric” style of directing, stating the filmmaker would use a microphone and a very loud speaker to give feedback. Clooney implied the director’s tone would do a terrible job setting the mood for more emotional scenes.
While Clooney is very, very unlikely to top any “best live-action Batman” lists, it is safe to say the movie’s problems go well beyond his performance. The plot is downright nonsensical at times – and that’s being polite about it – and the handling of the villains was especially cringeworthy. We can all look back and laugh at the horrible freeze puns, but that version of Bane? It’s a major disservice to the character.
Now, all eyes are on Ben Affleck since he’s the next one to become the incredibly popular hero. Thankfully, he’s looking pretty awesome in a costume which is heavily influenced by the Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters March 25, 2016. If you’re feeling especially brave, there’s several ways to rent or even purchase Batman & Robin – though we don’t necessarily recommend doing that.