George Clooney Calls ‘Batman & Robin’ a ‘Difficult Film to Be Good In’

Published 4 years ago by , Updated October 1st, 2011 at 12:21 am,

George Clooney Bashes Batman Robin George Clooney Calls Batman & Robin a Difficult Film to Be Good In

It’s pretty much universally accepted that Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin – the forth film in the series begun by Tim Burton – is A) the worst Batman movie ever, B) one of the worst superhero movies ever, and C) one of the worst movies ever. That’s a lot of worsts.

George Clooney had the unfortunate dishonor of playing Batman in that film – something he’s talked about with levity from time to time. Now that he’s gearing up for the release of his film The Ides of March, the topic came up again and he was perhaps harsher on the B&R than ever before.

Courtesy of Total Film, Clooney said:

“With hindsight, it’s easy to look back at this and go, ‘Woah, that was really ****, and I was really bad in it!”

On how he came to play the (not quite) Dark Knight:

“The truth is, my phone rang, and the head of Warner Bros said, ‘Come into my office, you are going to play Batman in a Batman film.’ And I said, ‘Yeah!’ I called my friends and they screamed and I screamed and we couldn’t believe it!”

George Clooney as Batman George Clooney Calls Batman & Robin a Difficult Film to Be Good In

On why he decided to take up the role:

“I just thought the last one had been successful, so I thought I was just going to be in a big, successful franchise movie. [And] in a weird way I was. Batman is still the biggest break I ever had and it completely changed my career, even if it was weak and I was weak in it. It was a difficult film to be good in. I don’t know what I could have done differently. But if I am going to be Batman in the film Batman & Robin, I can’t say it didn’t work and then not take some of the blame for that.”

It’s hard to blame George Clooney for the faults of Batman & Robin, which are innumerable. Indeed, had B&R been a different film altogether with a different director, a different screenplay, and a different point-of-view – and had Clooney acted in it later on in his career – he probably could’ve portrayed a rather excellent Bruce Wayne/Batman.

George Clooney and Ryan Gosling in The Ides of March George Clooney Calls Batman & Robin a Difficult Film to Be Good In

However, with regard to his point about Batman & Robin’s positive effect on George Clooney’s career – wasn’t Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight more responsible for his current career trajectory? Suddenly, George Clooney was the king of cool again – as opposed to just being that guy your mom had a crush on who also played the goofiest, dorkiest Batman of all time. (That’s right, even more so than Adam West.) But perhaps Clooney is saying that Batman & Robin was so bad that it encouraged him to take on better roles?

What do you guys think about Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin? Is it unfairly despised, or does it deserve its top billing on the cinematic superhero pile of dreck?


Follow me on Twitter @benandrewmoore.

George Clooney’s Ides of March, starring Ryan Gosling, comes out before the ides of … October. October 7th, 2011, to be exact.

Source: Total Film

TAGS: Batman
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  1. It is fairly despised.

  2. god that movie was horrid.

    the sad thing is clooney is probably 1 of the few actors who would be the perfect batman if given the perfect story, script, director, etc.

    IMO joel schumacher should’ve never been able to touch the batman franchise. i haven’t seen many of his movies purposely cause the 1s i’ve seen have either sucked (batman & robin) or they’re terribly overrated (the lost boys)

    • I agree clooney is actually a really good actor he would have been awesome as batman if the story was better and all.

    • A Time to Kill is a good film

  3. I went to the theater to see this and remember thinking about half way through that I was had. I thought the film makers were TRYING to make a bad movie to end the franchise.

  4. I notice that George never mentioned how he went out with Arnold on all the talk show circuits and promoted the heck out of the movie. He and Arnold talked about how good the movie was and how it was better than most of the B & R before it. So I have to call BS on how George likes to rewrite the past and down play his role in the making of the worst of the Batman movies.

    • Did you even read the article?

  5. Unfairly despised,I thought it was more of a kids friendly Batman movie.

    • @ Djinn

      Obviously that’s what WB wanted forth with with Schumacher as director. Batman & Robin was just too campy for older fans. Even Batman Forever was alittle more darker. I admit when Batman & Robin first came out, i liked enjoyed but not as much as the previous 3 films even at that time. Looking back now, even more i don’t watch it as much as the previous 3 films. I really hated Schumacher treated Bane as he’s my 2nd favorite Batman villain & he was treated as a mindless thug on film. Anyways, i agree with ya as it’s more of a kid’s friendly Batman movie kids could watch. Cause i know people who didn’t feel comfortable about takin their kids to Nolan’s Batman films. Of-course i notice other parents took their kids the movies simply because it was Batman. I remember i couldn’t see Batman’89 in theaters or Batman Returns by myself yet,lol.

    • Then they succeeded, because my 13yo daughter *loves* that movie, and it’s probably the only modern Batman movie that we’d buy for her.

  6. Playing hockey with the bad guys…on skates. Sorry, George but I’m not buying it. You HAD to see that coming in the script.

    It was all about the money, just say it..

  7. Best movie of the 90′s. Masterpiece.

  8. looking back now, all the previous Batmans were pretty bad.

    • @ Victor

      IMHO, id say Batman & Robin was the only one that was pretty bad. Or whatever others want say about it. But also again IMHO, all Batman films had their own faults aswell. I know there things i didn’t like every single Batman film simply because im a Batman fan & disappointed when mythos aren’t followed by the comics. But i remember comics change over the years & film-makers always changes things to make their films interesting or appealing. Just my thoughts.

  9. All the Batman films prior to “batman begins” were crap. Watchable yeah, but crap nevertheless. Val Kilmer did the best job, but the film was ruined by the terrible villains. As someone else said, “B&R” is sad, because at the right time of his life & with the right production, Clooney could’ve made the perfect Batman. The Burton films & Kevin Conroy are the most overrated things in the entire batman universe! There, I said it.

    • Kevin Conroy overrated? Bwahahahahahahahah…….

  10. Seems to me that this is a difficult way to enjoy movies. Only trying with all your might to see something that will, in your mind, be a masterpiece. Seems like your setting yourself up for constant disappointment, and over maligning stuff that wasn’t worth such ire.

  11. well i think the idea of batman is meant to be a darker tone as set by the christopher nolan films, which are the best the series has ever seen… the whole b and r film was way to kid friendly imo

  12. I find that one of the most disappointing things about this movie and Batman forever is that all of these people who made both movies are really talented and then when you watch them your thinking that really c’mon that’s the best you can do, or AHHHHHH!!!! The horror.

    I personally think clooney would’ve made a great batman had they gone in a completely different direction. I only watched a the last 20min of this movie and I found it very disturbing. I think Schwarzenegger is actually a decent actor he honestly could’ve been good I would’ve gotten rid of robin and batgirl not their biggest fans. Poison ivy and the pathetic excuse of bane in this movie were one of the many things that killed the movie, I mean her costume looked like a pathetic Halloween costume that was even stupider than the regular Halloween costumes, poison ivy could’ve been good to. This movie could’ve kicked a$& and sadly or horrifyingly it didn’t.

    Nice to hear Clooney looks at it positively for his career and negatively for the fans good for him learning from his mistakes.

  13. I am suprised by how many fans still regard Batman & Robin as a weak entry in the franchise. It may not be as dark and compelling as others in the series, but then why should it be? The Batman comic books have covered much ground in 70-plus years, including lighthearted camp. I see nothing wrong with some fans, like myself, preferring a lighthearted Batman. Sure, Batman’s origins are steeped in the familiar dark and brodding character we all know, but there is a precedence in an installment or two taking a backseat to fun. Look at Adam West, still hugely popular after all these years. Why not George Clooney? Why should the man continually apologise for a movie he made in 1997 which DID make money and some fans enjoyed. Had they made a fifth movie in the series following B & R, I am confident fans would have become more used to his Batman and that is really all I have to say. Thank you.

  14. I never cared for any of the batman movies or series. Just seemed stupid!

  15. I was 13 when that awful movie came out and I hated it even then. But Ive been watching batman movies at the theater since 89 with Jack Nicholson so Im going to be q hard critic