Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin stood on thin ice from the moment it entered theaters. No wonder it's long been considered one of the worst movies ever made. From the wooden acting to the bonkers set design, the film is regarded as a wall-to-wall mess. But as bad as the film is perceived, everything going on behind the scenes of Batman & Robin was even crazier. The ridiculous stories from the set of Batman & Robin showcase what it takes to run a beloved property into the ground.
When Schumacher made Batman Forever, he wasn't able to match the cool of the first two Tim Burton films, but he made something watchable, with style all its own. (Even if the two A-list villains didn't exactly get along.) With Batman & Robin, the director was working under massive time constraints and with some of the worst superhero performances ever recorded. It’s no wonder this is considered the worst Batman movie ever made.
If you repressed all memory of this big budget stinker, it's time to learn what made the filming of Batman & Robin such a nightmare.
Val Kilmer Dropped Out Of The Movie At The Last Second
If you've seen enough Batman movies, you know there are only two actors that have played Batman once: Val Kilmer and George Clooney. As it turns out, Clooney didn't have a choice in the matter; he filled the role after Kilmer split.
Kilmer's reason for splitting is so actor-ly, it hurts. Director Joel Schumacher explained:
Batman Forever, when we were on the world tour, it just really went to [Kilmer's] head. I'm not going to get into that. He wanted to do Island of Doctor Moreau because Marlon Brando was going to be in it. So he dropped us at the 11th hour.
Clooney filled in as a favor to Schumacher, and the rest is bad movie history.
Clooney Peed In His Batsuit
It's not easy being an actor. You have to sit in makeup for hours, and repeat dumb lines like, "Freeze, Freeze!" Then, there is the lack of bathroom breaks... Clooney's Batsuit was made up of multiple pieces that were hard to put on and remove, and the entire thing weighed about 90 pounds. Rather than go through the process of getting in and out of his suit to relieve himself, Clooney ended up peeing his pants a few times.
If only he knew that walking around in a soggy Batsuit really wasn't worth it.
The Set Was Mobbed By Unwanted Guests
It may seem ridiculous now, but people were really excited about Batman & Robin before the film was released. The fervor of Batfans led the paparazzi to start sneaking onto the set to try snagging pics of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Producer Peter MacGregor-Scott claimed, "They were getting $10,000 for a picture of Arnold... we had [to put] a fabric tent around him when he would walk from his trailer to the stage."
It wasn't just paparazzi running amuck; Schwarzenegger had a bunch of friends who would regularly stop by the set to say hello. At one point, Jon Bon Jovi came by to drop off some cigars for the star. Schwarzenegger liked them so much that he ended up smoking one in the movie.
The Release Date For 'Batman & Robin' Was Set Before Filming Began
It's not unheard of for a big budget superhero movie to receive a release date before it begins shooting, but in the case of Batman & Robin, there simply wasn't enough time to make sure the film was actually good.
According to director Joel Schumacher, after the success of Batman Forever, Warner Bros. was keen on getting some more of that sweet Wayne family money:
You are going to open whether you have something or not. Because those spots in the summer are so sought-after and so juggled around that you've got to piss on your ground or you're not going to have dates in the summer. And then it's like, "Oh my God, I'm opening. But now I have to make something to open with."