It's no secret that Batman and Robin is widely regarded as one of the worst comic book movies in the last few decades, and even star George Clooney has spoken multiple times about his disappointment with the project. It was one of the biggest superhero films upon its release, and it sounds like the Hollywood machine had made it a soulless endeavor for all involved, as Clooney and Mister Freeze actor Arnold Schwarzenegger never appeared on set together. While Batman and Freeze had multiple scenes where they interacted, the two actors never came face to face while filming.
Speaking on The Howard Stern Show earlier this week, Clooney revealed that he was merely a cog in the machine. He goes on to say that the main players involved with Batman and Robin were not proud of the work they produced.
"We never even saw each other," Clooney said about Schwarzenegger. "It's a big, monster machine, and I just sort of jumped in and did what they said."
Clooney's profile as one of Hollywood's top actors wasn't yet intact when he took the role of Batman. He made it clear to Stern that it was one of his biggest opportunities at that stage in his career.
"I couldn't have done that one differently," Clooney said. "It's a big machine, that thing. You have to remember at that point, I was just an actor getting an acting job. I wasn't the guy who could greenlight a movie."
He added that many people involved with Batman and Robin, including the writer and director, would admit the movie wasn't as good as it could have been.
"The truth of the matter is, I was bad in it. Akiva Goldsman — who's won the Oscar for writing since then — he wrote the screenplay. And it's a terrible screenplay, he'll tell you. I'm terrible in it, I'll tell you. Joel Schumacher, who just passed away, directed it, and he'd say, 'Yeah, it didn't work.' We all whiffed on that one."
While Batman and Robin and it's predecessor Batman Forever are widely panned nowadays, they have received newfound appreciation for their zany and campy approach to the superhero that hasn't been seen since the Adam West show from the '60s. A lot of love poured in when Schumacher passed away, as people recognized the fun energy that permeated from his two takes on Batman.
The critical backlash to the film resulted in the well-received reboot of The Dark Knight Trilogy from actor Christian Bale and director Christopher Nolan. It's hard to believe that would have happened if Clooney hadn't made Batman and Robin.