Zack Snyder’s “Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice” has been released today. This is a make-or-break film for Warner Brothers. While some reviews have slammed the movie, others have found it to be good. George Clooney, who starred as Batman in Joel Schumacher’s critically panned “Batman and Robin” (1997) says he had almost ended the “Batman” franchise for good.
Speaking at the Adobe Summit, as quoted by Mirror UK and Vanity Fair, Clooney reflected on his experience of dressing up in tights. “Most of you might not remember, but I almost destroyed the Batman franchise,” Clooney recalled. “When I got the call, to star in what is widely regarded as one of the worst movies of all time, I told my friends, and I told them, ‘I’m going to do Batman!’” the “Hail, Caesar!” actor admitted.
“Batman and Robin” also starred Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, Chris O’Donnell as Robin and Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl. The film was overwhelmingly campy and silly, not to mention the outlandish outfits the actors were made to wear.
Most embarrassing was the fact that the suits of the heroes had nipples on them and the crotch and buttock areas were made prominent. Joel Schumacher made it a point to zoom the camera on the nipples, crotches and butts of Clooney, O’Donnell and Silverstone, each time they put on their superhero outfits.
Some of the very corny puns were given to Schwarzenegger to utter. “What killed the dinosaurs? The Ice Age!” says Schwarzenegger while Clooney was having fun skating down a dinosaur’s spine. “You’re not sending ME to the COOLER!” he tells Batman and Robin while attacking them with an ice-producing weapon. There is also the “Let’s kick some ice!”
The dialogue sounds great for a comedy and Schwarzenegger did his best given the material. But ultimately, these elements, among others dragged the movie down. It was not until 2005 when Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed “Batman Begins” released which ultimately brought the caped crusader back on track, making it the most successful and popular DC comics franchise ever. Christian Bale, who took over the cape and cowl, is now hailed as the definitive Batman ever. Time will tell whether Ben Affleck is as successful.
“In general, what I say is, ‘It was a bad film, and I was [in a] very bad film,’ but I usually don’t say, ‘waste of money,’ because I think it actually made some money despite how bad it was. Bad money and bad movies don’t necessarily correlate,” says Clooney about “Batman and Robin” in retrospect. He added that “Now, I try to do the ones that wouldn’t get made unless I get involved.”