Years before Ryan Reynolds began mocking the failure of Green Lantern at every available opportunity, George Clooney was profusely apologizing for Batman & Robin. Having broken out in smash hit TV drama ER and proving he could play the smoldering movie star in From Dusk Till Dawn, people were actually enthusiastic about the actor replacing Val Kilmer as the Caped Crusader at the time, as impossible as that sounds to believe.
Of course, Joel Schumacher’s toyetic blockbuster was a critical and commercial disaster, one that gained such an infamous reputation that it saw the Dark Knight head into big screen hibernation for almost a decade until Christopher Nolan reinvented the iconic superhero in spectacular fashion with Batman Begins. And while Clooney might be one of the biggest stars in the business these days with two Academy Awards under his belt, the 59 year-old has never shied away from talking about Batman & Robin.
In a recent interview, the Ocean’s Eleven star explained why he still finds it important and relevant to address the movie’s many shortcomings, and unsurprisingly, a lot of it has to do with a determination to embrace the mistakes he’s made in the past.
“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!’.”
Michael Keaton may be making a surprise return as Gotham’s costumed crimefighter in The Flash, but it seems unlikely that George Clooney would ever be extended the same invitation no matter how many Batmen the studio planned on cramming into the movie. That being said, it’d be hilariously meta given the fact that he’s spent over two decades knocking his contributions to Batman & Robin on a regular basis.