Batman & Robin Were Never Gay Says Director Joel Schumacher

If you're a Batman fan at all then you've also heard the jokes: Batman and Robin are gay, with the younger hero being more to the World's Greatest Detective than just a sidekick. It's an interpretation of the super heroic relationship that many fans especially notice in Batman and Robin. The film, released in 1997 and starring George Clooney as Batman and Chris O'Donnell as Robin, embraced something ore a camp aesthetic, something more in line with Adam West's Batman shows and movie from the 1960s leading many to believe that the characters were, in fact, gay. Not so, says director Joel Schumacher.

In an interview with Vulture, Schumacher was asked about the gay read and campiness of Batman and Robin, but according to the director none of these things would even be an issue if he himself weren't gay.


"If I wasn't gay, they would never say those things," Schumacher said.

He went on to explain that many of the things people cite when discussing his "queering" of Batman and Robin really go back well before his time working within the franchise. People have always made the assumption about the characters being gay.

"This all started way before me," Schumacher said. "Long before I came along, someone wrote a whole thing about what the real message of fairy tales and children's stories are. Snow White was all about having bad stepmother. And Batman and Robin are two homosexual men living in a cave, living together. There's always been this thing about Batman and Robin being gay."

With that preexisting perception, one might assume that Schumacher, as filmmaker opted give a "wink and nod" to things, but he went on to insist that he did not -- and that he doesn't even think that the characters are gay to start with.

"No," Schumacher said when asked. "Nor do I ever think Batman and Robin are gay. There were a lot of people who I would say, in one particular community, wanted George Clooney to be gay so badly."

This isn't the first time that Schumacher has insisted that the gay reading of Batman & Robin is, in part, a product of his own sexuality. Back in 2017, Schumacher made a similar claim.

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"I think because I am gay, people read into things," he explained. "For instance, when I did [the 2000 war drama] Tigerland, because you have a lot of guys running around in their underwear, of course it's called homoerotic. It seems to feel a little cockeyed. I made so many macho films. It was just fun."

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