The long-running debate over which actor made the best Batman generally boils down to a face off between Christian Bale and Michael Keaton, although Adam West and Ben Affleck both have vocal supporters, while Kevin Conroy is often unfairly overlooked. However, no matter what your opinion, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone that would give George Clooney a glowing reference.
Batman & Robin is comfortably the worst live-action movie to feature the Dark Knight in any capacity, and received such a poor reception from critics and fans that Joel Schumacher’s proposed fifth installment was abandoned in favor of sending the franchise into cold storage for close to a decade.
Schumacher had long since made peace with the fact that he’d face at least one question about Batman & Robin in every interview he did up until his recent passing, while Clooney is no stranger to taking shots at the dismal blockbuster, either. Similar to the various urban legends surrounding Bill Murray, there were even tales of the Ocean’s Eleven star putting his hand into his pocket and giving people money as a way of apologizing for his involvement, and in a recent interview, the 59 year-old once again confirmed what we’ve all known for a while.
“The only way you can honestly talk about things is to include yourself and your shortcomings in those things,” said Clooney. “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!'”
He’s right of course, with Batman & Robin offering no hints whatsoever that Clooney was poised to become one of the biggest and most respected talents in the entire industry. In fact, many were labeling it as the potential death knell for a big screen career that was only just getting started after he’d shot to mainstream attention as Dr. Doug Ross on ER during a time when the divide between being a ‘TV actor’ and a ‘film actor’ was very much still a thing.