The comic book genre may have revived itself little over a year later when Stephen Norrington’s stylish and violent actioner Blade burst onto the scene in the summer of 1998, but there was genuine concern that Batman & Robin had killed the superhero movie for good. It wasn’t until Bryan Singer’s X-Men arrived in 2000 that the boom really started, and it still hasn’t finished, but after Joel Schumacher’s awful blockbuster was savaged by fans and critics, the immediate prognosis wasn’t looking too positive.
Generally acknowledged as one of the worst comic book adaptations ever committed to film, almost a quarter of a century later and Batman & Robin is still a byword for bad cinema. Schumacher finally apologized for the movie after spending years defending it, George Clooney has never been shy in voicing his opinion on the pic, and the careers of Chris O’Donnell and Alicia Silverstone arguably never recovered.
In a new interview, Clooney admitted once again that Batman & Robin is terrible, but he also assumed responsibility for being a key part in why the project failed on almost every conceivable level, explaining that sometimes you have to take ownership for such high-profile misfires.
“The only way you can honestly talk about things is to include yourself and your shortcomings in those things. Like, when I say Batman & Robin‘s a terrible film, I always go, ‘I was terrible in it’. Because I was, number one. But also because then it allows you the ability to say, ‘Having said I sucked in it, I can also say that none of these other elements worked, either’. You know? Lines like ‘Freeze, Freeze!’.”
Clooney was still best known as ER‘s Dr. Doug Ross at the time, and Batman & Robin could have realistically killed the career of a lesser actor. However, he rebounded in a big way by radiating star power and charisma in Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight the following year, and he’s now one of the most acclaimed and versatile talents of his generation on both sides of the camera, having won two Academy Awards and picking up a further six nominations for various acting, directing, producing and writing credits.