After the immense success of 1995’s Batman Forever, Warner Bros. placed their faith in director Joel Schumacher to create a new hit sequel in the Batman film series, fast-tracking the project to go into production inside of a year. The ensuing saga of the production of Batman & Robin would cause a schedule conflict for Forever‘s Bruce Wayne, Val Kilmer, prompting Schumacher to recast the film’s lead role with actor George Clooney. Clooney, who at that point was best known for starring on NBC’s “E.R.,” thought that it would be a positive move to take on the role originated in a major motion picture by Michael Keaton in 1989.
It didn’t exactly end up that way. To this day, 1997’s Batman & Robin is regarded as one of the absolute worst superhero films ever made, coming closer to the campy tone of the 1960’s “Batman” television series in comparison to the three more somber films released previously. Now, though, the good-natured and quick-witted Clooney holds no illusions about the poor reception to Batman & Robin, and over the years he’s come to share them in his own, appealing and charismatic style.
Promoting the release of Disney’s Tomorrowland in Great Britain, Clooney recently appeared on “The Graham Norton Show” when the conversation ultimately turned to his single outing as DC Comics’ Caped Crusader. In the interview, Clooney recalls the directing style of Joel Schumacher as he’s “bolted in” to the Batman costume, resulting in a hilarious exchange over a film that ended up being slightly less than a “good career move.” See the video below (Batman talk begins at 1:32):
Clooney may have believed that he “killed” the Batman film franchise, but in a way, he helped give birth to its strongest revitalization at the hands of director Christopher Nolan and star Christian Bale. It seems very likely that audiences would not have gotten Batman Begins and its massive sequels had Batman & Robin not been created in the way that it was, and now, we get to hear George Clooney give his awesome perspective on a film that has been described as an “acid trip” from beginning to end.
How do you regard Batman & Robin? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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