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. ahhh, batman and robin. the greatest bad film of all time

  2. Nipples on a Batsuit?? Nice one Schumaker you flamer!

  3. Deserved, and George Clooney certainly wasn’t the worst actor in the movie (Chris O’Donnell).

    • What about Arnold, dude?

  4. … and people complained about the Dark Knight suit. HA!

    Why didn’t Batgirl have nipples?

    • You should have seen her when she and I went out on a date!

  5. I remember seeing this film in theaters when I was 7 and thought it was great. Saw it again 10 years and wished I would have just left it as it was in my memory. Such a terrible film

  6. I like the film. I can think of several super hero movies much worse.

  7. He is 100% right about it helping his career. Not everyone watched ER. Actually only about 12million people out of 320+ million watched the show. However, I would think that over 100million have seen the movie in theaters or on DVD/VHS (lots had VHS back then). He was the lead man, and I would argue that it was batman that made him a household name…well sort of. You also have to include the children who would have never watched ER that now knew who he was. Its how I learned who he was.

  8. Whoa, chill out for a second…this movie didn’t kick some ice?

  9. so, so bad.

  10. And doesn’t that Batgirl costume have something like visible nipples?

    • Yeah, either it is just in this shot or I never noticed it before (granted I sat through that movie once). Speaking of Batgirl, what the hell happened to Alicia Silverstone ?

      • She lost her mind became a hardcore Vegan and stopped being attractive. She is now thinner than a post and more unhealthy looking than a meth head.

  11. “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.”

    Completely 100% agree. It is a tremendous shame that we never got to see Clooney play Batman the way he should’ve been portrayed.

    Looks-wise, Clooney is second only to Christian Bale as far as being the “ideal” Batman/Bruce Wayne. The only reason I think Bale fits the bill better is he DOES have that brooding look that I think Clooney lacks.

  12. Damn the haters. Batman and Robin was at least an enjoyable experience!

    • If you enjoy torture

    • Not if you’re a fan of Batman.

  13. C’mon! This is the film that launched Alicia Silverstone’s internationally respected, career-building status.

    • Respected? She pretty much slept though the role…
      Career building status? If so, where is she now?

    • Alcia Silverstone was more respected before this film. She fell off the face of the earth after B&R

  14. Worst batman film ever tbh I think it’s not the worst superhero film “the spirit” now that was bad

    • Vlad I don’t know which is worse I agree The Spirit was terrible it’s hard to pick one between those two options.


  16. I’m sorry, but this was NOT the worst Batman film ever. That title belongs to “The Dark Knight”! Before you slam me, please read carefully – the worst BATMAN (BATMAN) film ever! “The Dark Knight” was NOT a Batman film, merely a crime/drama film that happened to feature Batman as a character. At least “Batman & Robin” was fun and comedic. “The Dark Knight” just flat our failed as a BATMAN (BATMAN – READ PLEASE!) film.

    • And btw, this is no where near one of the worst films ever. Jesus, stop bashing it and enjoy it for what it is! I’m f***ing sick of people being so critical all the time. EVERY SINGLE DAY. You didn’t like it? Go make your own Batman film you tossers. It’s like people that said “Spider-Man 3″ was one of the worst films ever – How? I just don’t understand. I can’t comprehend how people bash everything but when it comes to Nolan it’s all of a sudden perfect and anyone who disagrees has no taste in movies. It’s really getting beyond annoying now.

      • Just stop.

      • Youre entitled to your opinion but I just hate when people bust out the “if you don’t like it then make the movie yourself!!” argument. Its stupid. There are many good movies and many bad movies; but why should I make my own version of every movie I don’t like? Makes no sense. Im sure there are things you don’t like in life, besides some films. You probably don’t like long lines at the airport but who tells you “go make your own damn airport then!!”? See how stupid that is?

        • Make your own airport has got to be one of the best comments i’ve seen in ages lol


        • I read a lot of comments on this site but this is the first time one of them tickles me just right.
          Make your own damn airport, he says. F***in’ beautiful.

        • I agree. It’s like when I say the 49ers suck and someone inevitably jumps in with, “They’re better than you.” Yeah, jerk, I don’t play professional football. Thanks anyway though. I’m sure they appreciate you jumping to their defense.

        • GOOD LORD, that was funny, lol…

    • Your wrong in every way.

      The Dark Knight was very much still a Batman film. In style it was handled like a crime drama but it was still Batman never the less. He still had the most screen time and the story was still about him. He was still the hero of the story. No matter how you slice it this was in every way Batman. Especially since the character of Batman actually acted like Batman which is something you can’t say about Batman and Robin.

      Also batman and Robin was indeed among the worst films ever made. For more reasons than just comic fan anger. It was horrible writing and acting and lets not even talk about the directing. Every film he directs is bad Batman and Robin is no different.

      • I agree with every word that Daniel wrote. I might prefer Batman Begins over The Dark Knight, but The Dark Knight is a gazillion times better than Batman and Robin. That movie was pure cr*p.

      • I agree about B&R and The Dark Knight. However, I think you are being too hard on Schumacher. He has made some good films. The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire, The Client, and even Phantom of the Opera. Don’t condemn the guy’s whole career because he should never have been hired for Batman.

        • I’m not condemning his carrer because of B and R I’m condemning it because i think his movies every single one of them sucks. I don’t share your same love for his other films. I consider The Lost Boys to be nothing more than trying to appeal to teen girls and young boys with a B movie. IMO it was crap. The Phantom of the opera was just terrible and very critically panned with a mere 33% on Rotten tomatoes. Believe when I say it is not a well respected movie. This is the same guy that gave us number 23.

          IMO the best movie he ever made was Phone Booth. That’s not me saying Phone Booth was good just better than horrible crap.

          While I personally hate every film you listed I’ll give you that there are people who consider Lost Boys and The client to be good. However, Phantom of the Opera and St Elmos Fire are generally considered trash films. Go check how people rate them on just about every site ever made. While you are there look up Flatliners, Number 23, The Incredible Shinking woman (Which has the rare honor of having a 0% on RT which isn’t easy. ), 8MM, or the ironically named Flawless.

          That’s not even all of his bad movies. I think with the exception of Phone Booth all of his films or horrible. Very Very few have been well received by anybody and that doesn’t make him good. He has far more horrible films than even kind of sort of watchable ones. Zero good films though. Every bad film maker at least has one good film that even some of his biggest haters will admit they like. When you have 40 films at least one of them is bound to be decent right?

          His career should be condemned and laughed at because bluntly put it’s been a joke.

    • Dude, in the same paraagraph you claim that TDK is NOT a Batman movie, and that it holds the title of the worst Batman movie ever. You kind of slapped your own credibility upside the head.

      • the previous comment was in response to Maynard James post.

  17. Like some have said I would watch again on a sunday afternoon and enjoy it.
    There are hundreds of movies which are worse. It’s no dark knight but it wasn’t meant to be. More like the original over the top 1960’s style. Definitely not the best movie ever but also not as bad as the rating it gets on imdb of 3.5

    • I’ll disagree 3.5 IMO is generous. It was far more than just campy. It was bad writing and acting teamed with bad direction. There was nothing good about it at all.

      • The Adam West Batman should not even be compared to Batman & Robin. The 1960’s vehicle was intentionally campy and dry. It holds up as comic genius and is completely different in both intent and execution to the travesty of Batman & Robin. The latter was conceived as the fourth film in a series of serious Batman films, but came off almost like a children’s movie.

        • Logan gonna have to disagree to a point.

          The both of them can and should be compared. You say that the 60’s one was intentionally campy but so was B&R. They didn’t take it serious it was meant to be 100% campy. If one has the right to be doesn’t the other?

          Don’t get me wrong I think B&R was horrible. I also hate the old Adam West though as well. I hate camp and B movies and anythign that is intentionally bad. Just because you meant to make a bad movie or tv show doesn’t make it less bad or suddenly ok. I have a massive collection of Batman items. I collect the comics and have crates full of them. Every thing of mine that can be a batman item is a batman item. I am a huge fan but I reject the 60’s tv show and consider it shameful. Camp IMO is never ok. Bad films that are intentionally bad are not suddenly good.

  18. Schumacher failed to see the genre as the perfect canvas for epic storytelling. Gone was Burton’s angst and absent was the depth and power to come later in Dark Knight. An idea that comic book movies should only strive to be campy and fun is a bad starting point and belies the tremendous storytelling found in graphic novels.

    • “An idea that comic book movies should only strive to be campy and fun is a bad starting point”

      Have to disagree with you there. If the concept lends itself to strive to be campy and fun, then it should by all means be so. Take, for example, Scott Pilgrim (et al.): it was deliberately campy and fun, just as the comic was deliberately campy and fun. Are you saying that the producers of Scott Pilgrim should have discarded the campy foundations and made instead a Wes-Andersonian navel-gazing dragfest?

      Any film adaptation of material sourced in the comics medium should effectively reflect that source material, whether dark and brooding, mysterious and nail-biting, shiny and action-packed, or even campy and fun.

      Additionally, I don’t think that Batman is really material for epic storytelling, as a story needs to cross multiple generations for it to truly be “epic” (i.e. characters’ children, their children’s children, etc.), and Batman stories tend to begin an end with Batman; some examples of epic storytelling with Batman include “Superman Batman: Generations”, “JLA: the Nail”, “Robin 3000″, and even “the Dark Knight Returns” and “DK2″, if you transfigure Carrie Kelley into Batman’s surrogate child.

      I think that instead of “epic” storytelling you meant “really big and really cool” storytelling.

  19. IMO there are currently 4 and hopefully soon to be 5 good to great Batman films. B&R and BF are just complete messes in almost every way. Is Clooney to blame? IMO no. The blame goes to WB and Schumaker. The decision to make a film to sell toys and Happy Meals only will usually spell doom for any movie and that’s what happened. The story didn’t matter. That’s all WB wanted and that’s what Joel gave them.

    • For me there is only 2 great Batman films the two Nolan films. Batman 89 was just a tollerable one and IMO returns was awful. I actually like forever more than I like returns.

  20. The movie was horrible. I’ve personally always thought though that A batman film with Clooney in the mid 2000’s could of been great. He really grew as an actor and it’s hard to deny that his faee fills the costume really well. His jaw line screams Superhero especially Batman and in the right costume he could really look like Alex Ross Kingdom Come Batman.

  21. Do you guys remember the part where Clooney busts out the Bat Express card and says “Never Leave the Cave Without It”?

    ‘Nuff Said.

  22. Yeah, carrying on with Ben Moore’s closing thought: it is the best of the worst.

  23. That movie was horrible, but I blame the script and the direction much more than Clooney. If you listen to the lines he had to deliver, I think he did a great job with the lines he had.

  24. I read somewhere that Bale actually auditioned for the role of Robin in Batman Forever.

  25. Thanks, I had ten years of Electro-shock therapy to erase these filmed memories from my brain. Worst Batman ever!

  26. Ahem…… Batman and Robin sucked crotchrot, and I hesitate to call that my opinion.

  27. I do not blame George for it, but the movie was terrible.

  28. The reputation is deserved. I don’t blame the actors or Joel Schumacher (although Schwarzenneger, Thurman, Clooney, O’Donnell, were not great). I blame Warner Bros. They made the same mistake they made with the Superman movies under the direction of the Salkinds. When you worry more about the toy revenue generation than the script, Tim Burton is not likely to stay on. They lost him, then Keaton, and the rest is history. Warner Bros. got too involved in the content and hired the wrong people to do the job. as was their M.O. in those days. In my opinion, this film is even worse than Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, and that is saying something.