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!"
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.
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?
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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