From batsuit nipples to endless ice puns, Screen Rant's Ryan George takes us behind the scenes of what (probably) happened in the pitch meeting for Joel Schumacher's 1997 superhero movie Batman & Robin.
Before Batman movies took a hard right turn into the realm of grim and gritty with Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, they had veered off to the other end of the spectrum. The movie franchise that had started with Tim Burton's dark and edgy (for the time) Batman in 1989, and continued in Burton's sequel Batman Returns, saw a radical shift in tone when director Joel Schumacher took over for the third movie, Batman Forever. Michael Keaton was out as Bruce Wayne, replaced by Val Kilmer, and now he had his trusty sidekick Robin (played by Chris O'Donnell). That movie proved to be a box office hit, and that's how we ended up with the sequel: Batman & Robin.
Related: The Dark Knight Rises Pitch Meeting
Though O'Donnell stuck around, Batman was recast again with George Clooney donning the bat-ears, and Alicia Silverstone also joined the team as Batgirl. On the villain side of things was Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, and wrestler Jeep Swenson as Bane. Mr. Freeze freezes things using a diamond, Poison Ivy uses her plant-based powers to seduce Batman and Robin into fighting over her, and nothing really makes any sense.
Generally considered one of the worst superhero movies ever made, Batman & Robin killed Warner Bros.' first Batman movie franchise in its tracks and threw the character into limbo for almost a decade while the studio tried to figure out what to do with him. Now that the initial fan disgust is a distant memory, however, Batman & Robin has come to be remembered almost fondly as a so-bad-it's-good cheesy classic. As terrible as it was, after all, it certainly left its mark with gloriously terrible lines like Mr. Freeze's, "What killed the dinosaurs? The ice age!" and moments like Batman whipping out his bat-credit card.
Even if those golden moments aren't enough to win you over, it's worth keeping in mind that without Batman & Robin killing off the Schumacher era of Batman movies, Warner Bros. may never have turned to up-and-coming filmmaker Christopher Nolan for a new take on the character, and we may never have gotten the Dark Knight trilogy. That's the bat-circle of life.