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George Clooney: Batman & Robin ‘A Difficult Film To Be Good In’

One of my very favorite moments in the film world every year is when some journalist plucks up the nerve to ask George Clooney about his role in Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin. The star has always been upfront and candid in his talk of the legendarily awful movie’s legacy, and this new interview with TotalFilm is no exception.

“It was a difficult film to be good in,” Clooney said. “With hindsight it’s easy to look back at this and go, ‘Woah, that was really shit and I was really bad in it.'”

I think the flaws were more in the writing and general tone of the production than any one performance. Arnold Schwarzenegger hammed it up of course as Mr. Freeze, and Bane looked inconceivably stupid, but Clooney pretty much just showed up and did his job, such as it was.

“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!”

“I just thought the last one had been successful so I thought I was just going to be in a big successful franchise movie,” he continued. “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.”


  • nailsin

    The failure of Batman and Robin was not Clooney’s fault. The greatest actor in the
    world couldn’t polish that turd into gold.

  • Wolf5960

    It’s easy to talk about how the costumes were horrible. The story was horrible. etc etc
    I will say I enjoyed Clooney as Bruce Wayne. I totally see Bruce like that. Maybe a little grey in the hair. A mischevious grin because he knows he’s the smartest, coolest, meanest guy in the room but doesn’t have to prove it.
    At that point in time it was likely difficult to dress as a superhero in a movie. Nowadays you’re begging to get into one to fill out your resume.

  • Leo_darkheart03

    I admire Clooney for being so humble about this. I mean it’d be hard to be prideful about it. But I also didn’t feel it was all his fault. The Director and the Direction of the film killed it.

  • Another Ian

    In my mind George Clooney played Bruce Wayne like the Animated Series version of Bruce Wayne and that is fine with me.  He was a fun-loving millionaire playboy.  One of the worst movies of all time, though.

  • Dark

    In other news, water is wet.

  • Hellboypi

    Clooney has often blamed himself for this horrible film.
    (I almost walked out of the theater when he pulled his BatCard out but I stuck it out thinking it couldn’t get worse…)
    I still think Clooney could’ve made a great Batman under different circumstances.

  • Numbnuts

    When they reboot it again after Nolan is done, I’d like to see Clooney do it again under a different mood of film, neither Schumacher’s nor Nolan’’ll never happen, but I’d go see it..

  • Jacob

    Clooney was a great Batman. I’d be all for him reprising the role after Bale leaves. Though he’s getting older… Maybe he should play Bruce for a Batman Beyond movie.

  • Shawn


  • Kiel Phegley

    I thought Uma was a hoot.

  • Not Daniel

    I don’t know if he still does this, but at one point if you happened to meet George Clooney and mention that you’d paid to see BATMAN & ROBIN in the cinema, he’d take out his wallet and give you your money back.

  • Anonymous

    In a good movie Clooney would have been a really great Batman. 

  • David Fullam

    Don’t worry George, we forgave you a long time back. The director on the other hand…

  • Bat-Express Platinum

    I see this Batman as a Silver-Age Batman – not wrong, just different.

  • Jmcreer

    I took my son to see this when it first came out – he absolutely loved it, as did pretty much all kids around at that time.  I didn’t mind it myself – reminded me of the old 60’s Batman TV show.  I’m not sure I understand the hatred for the film – at least kids under 10 have ONE Batman film they can watch and enjoy.  While I love Burton’s and Nolan’s films they certainly aren’t for kids.  I think Batman and Robin has it’s merits as a kid-worthy film.

  • Hosstbl1

    Clooney was good as Bruce Wayne, but not as Batman.  He really didn’t attempt to make any distinction between his performance as Bruce Wayne and Batman, which made his Batman rather lame.  This, of course, was probably exactly what the director wanted him to do and probably fit the “tone” of the film as it was…

  • Anonymous

    It was the writing that stunk. It was just a bunch of stupid one liners made into a movie. There was no depth or character moments. And it was way to camp, Like it says in the article – (although it wasn’t just Arnold) everyone was hamming it up.

  • Anonymous

    And Gotham went from dark and gothic – to fluro central!

    It was aimed at people with 5 second attention span!

  • RunnerX13

    ” I don’t know what I could have done differently ” Well, acting would have certainly helped.

  • Jbrown

    The costumes weren’t all that bad, and as far as a Batman film goes, it wasn’t a total disaster. Not the worst film or performance out there by any stretch of the imagination. I can give you dozens of other films and performances that were much worse. Besides, even in the best Batman movie it’s kind of tough to pull off some guy who decides to take on villain dressed up as a humongous bat. 

  • Andrea Torres-Valencia

    robin is sooooooooooooo fineeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!