George Clooney remembers his “terrible” Batman & Robin performance


It “physically hurts” George Clooney to watch his “terrible” performance as Bruce Wayne in Batman & Robin, which he credits will killing the franchise for a while.

There are a few contenders for the coveted title of Worst Superhero Movie ever made. Catwoman is in the running. 2015’s Fantastic Four is part of the race, as is Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

But the top spot might be claimed by 1997’s Batman & Robin. And it’s not just fans and critics who panned the infamously campy movie. Even George Clooney admits that it “physically hurts” to watch his “terrible” performance as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

Directed by Joel Schumacher, the movie stars Clooney in his first (and last) appearance as the caped crusader, alongside Robin (Chris O’Donnell). Their mission is simple: defeat Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman) and Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger), a villain who loved a good ice-pun almost as much as he loved crime. “Alright everyone… chill!” “Tonight’s forecast… a freeze is coming!” You get the idea.

If you’ve seen the movie, you don’t need me to tell you how bad it is, and if you haven’t, consider yourself lucky. It sounds like Clooney would agree. “The truth of the matter is, I was bad in it,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Akiva Goldsman — who’s won the Oscar for writing since then — he wrote the screenplay. And it’s a terrible screenplay, he’ll tell you. I’m terrible in it, I’ll tell you. Joel Schumacher, who just passed away, directed it, and he’d say, ‘Yeah, it didn’t work.’ We all whiffed on that one.”

The production sounds like it was pretty weird. Apparently, Clooney didn’t film any scenes with Arnold Schwarzenegger even though they appeared together onscreen. “We never even saw each other,” Clooney said. “It’s a big, monster machine, and I just sort of jumped in and did what they said.”

"I couldn’t have done that one differently. It’s a big machine, that thing. You have to remember at that point, I was just an actor getting an acting job. I wasn’t the guy who could greenlight a movie."

At least both Clooney and Schwarzenegger got a decent payday for their work. According to THR, Clooney took home a cool million dollars for his work, although that pales in comparison to Schwarzenegger’s full $25 million.

This is far from the first time Clooney has torn into Batman & Robin. Appearing on The Graham Norton Show in 2015, the actor said he makes sure he  “always apologizes” for the movie. He also thinks the movie “destroyed the franchise” for a while, and considering it laid dormant for almost a decade until 2005’s Batman Begins, he may have a point.

I admire how brutally honest Clooney is about it. He’s embracing the criticism.

At least Batman & Robin can remind us to appreciate the great Batman movies we have. Christopher Nolan’s trilogy is probably the best example of what happens when you do a Batman story right. Speaking of Nolan’s Batman, The Dark Knight was recently added to the National Film Registry — I don’t know if Batman & Robin will join it anytime soon.

Next. The 10 worst fight scenes in superhero movies. dark

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