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Trivia / Batman & Robin

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  • All-Star Cast: The film featured some of the biggest stars (or at least rising stars) of the time period. Unfortunately, it's also been credited by some of those same stars for crashing their careers.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: Mention this movie in conversation and someone will inevitably intone "Ice to see you!" in a Schwarzenegger voice. Problem is, while Arnold's Mr. Freeze does make many, many cold-related puns in this film, that particular line was never in Batman & Robin, and was in fact uttered by Rainer Wolfcastle, the Schwarzenegger parody character on The Simpsons. For the record, Schwarzenegger does make the obligatory "Allow me to break the ice" pun that anyone could have seen coming.
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  • Billing Displacement: Like with the 1989 movie, top billing goes to the main antagonist (Arnold Schwarzenegger).
  • Box Office Bomb: Budget, $125-160 million. Box office, $107,353,792 (domestic), $238.2 million (worldwide).
  • Christmas Rushed: Production started as soon as Batman Forever was released. This led to many issues such as Val Kilmer being busy with The Saint, forcing Warner Bros. to replace him with George Clooney (though the Hostility on the Set between Kilmer and Joel Schumacher on Forever would probably have made the former's returning unlikely anyway).
  • Creator Backlash:
    • George Clooney has made it pretty clear that he hates the film and makes many Take Thats against it. It's been rumored at various times that if you meet Clooney and tell him you saw the film, he will give you your money back, and he has outright stated that he apologizes for the movie whenever he gets the chance. However, Clooney has also said he doesn't regret doing it at all, and in fact credits the film for making him a leading man in Hollywood, as he had previously been a TV actor.
      • That said, Clooney reportedly still keeps a poster of the film in his home office as a warning to himself, about what happens when you make a decision solely for the money.
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    • Chris O'Donnell was quoted saying: "With Batman Forever, I felt like I was making a movie. With Batman & Robin, I felt like I was making a toy commercial."
    • Joel Schumacher had been apologetic about it, but hadn't really indicated whether or not he truly hated it rather than just regretting it. He mostly just sounded resentful for being singled out for blame all these years, particularly since he was specifically hired by Warner Bros. to promote toys.
      • Producer Peter MacGregor-Scott also resented the emphasis on the merchandise, saying "I feel if you let a filmmaker just make a good movie, you'd sell toys anyway."
    • Amusingly, averted by Arnold Schwarzenegger - he felt the character was good (which is undeniable apart from mixing the serious Mr. Freeze from the animated series with the campy one from previous comics), liked Joel Schumacher's non-Batman films, and was already doing Eraser for Warner. He added that "it’s always easy to be smug in hindsight" when the movie turns out to be worse than expected.
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    • Doubly averted by Uma Thurman, who felt the campy and farcical tone fit the film, enjoyed the creative license she was given in regards to her character, and credits B&R as less of a career-killer and more of her first real experience with a high-budget Hollywood blockbuster.
    • To the credit of the entire cast, none of them seem to regret the process of making the film. They genuinely got along, and if nothing else had fond memories of having fun working together.
    • Somebody asked Val Kilmer on Reddit if he dodged a bullet by missing out on this movie. He replied simply, "Duh".
  • Defictionalization: You can get a real life Bat Credit Card nowadays, but unlike the movie, its just a normal credit card with the series logo on it, and they aren't good thru forever.
  • Deleted Scene: A majority of scenes involving Julie Madison were cut from the film. Including her death scene (she's stabbed by Poison Ivy with the same knife she uses in her fight with Batgirl), which was deemed too dark.
  • Distanced from Current Events: The 2019 4K and reprinted Blu-ray release removes the "Gotham City" music video, owing to the long standing allegations of sexual abuse against R. Kelly being re-scrutinized after the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly.
  • Dueling Dubs: Given the movie came out right as the Brazilian dubbers went on strike, the dub was commissioned in Los Angeles to bypass the union concerns entirely, and the quality (along with an actual dubber that was in the city, the best known voice was the local announcer for TNT!) is as laughable as the movie itself. Later, the film's broadcast TV debut led to a redub in Rio de Janeiro with the cast's usual dubbers, but that version has never been released elsewhere.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: The heroes and Mr. Freeze struggled with the heavy suits. Arnold Schwarzenegger also had to have a bald cap, paint himself blue, wear Icy Blue Eyes contact lenses and use an LED that emitted blue light from his mouth. Unfortunately, the LED would disintegrate after at least 20 minutes and made battery acid leak into his mouth, which frustrated Schwarzenegger.
  • Executive Meddling: Most of the decisions in the creative process were made by the marketing executives instead of the creative team.
  • Franchise Killer:
    • This film was the final nail in the coffin of the Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman film series. It counts double when George Clooney even said that "I think we might have killed the franchise". The fifth film that was being planned when Batman & Robin was released got shelved when B&R earned scathing reviews and turned into instant fuel for mockery, ending this version of the Batman movies after 4 installments. A license like Batman, however, never completely dies.
    • It also sounded the death knell for any future live-action Batman productions in TV or film that took a comedic tone a la Adam West's Batman. Any future Batman film or show that has excess comedy or camp is strictly animated.
  • Genre-Killer: Along with Steel, this film is seen as the main reason why Hollywood superhero movies were down for the count for five odd years, and when they finally did come back, most traces of camp, which both films had made heavy use of, had been heavily downplayed, if not outright exorcised.
  • Looping Lines: Lead dialogue mixer Donald Mitchell said that 95% of the dialogue in the film was looped.
    Donald Mitchell: We have so much steam, prop and other noises on the production track, that we had to replace most of the lines. Also, in certain scenes Arnold [Schwarzenegger] was difficult to hear clearly, because of his costume. During the pre-dubs, we pitch-shifted George Clooney's voice down by about 5% when he appears as Batman, to give it more depth and resonance, and to distinguish the two roles. For [the voice processing of] "Mr. Freeze," we'll use more of a metallic feel, with a Lexicon [480XL] or a flanger.
  • Missing Trailer Scene:
    • In the original theatrical trailer, Mr. Freeze says the line, "Button up, boys. A storm is coming." That line is not present in the final film.
    • A brief shot in one of the trailers for this movie shows Mr. Freeze saying that Batman will watch his beloved Gotham perish but this was not said or shown in the theatrical release of the movie.
  • Old Shame:
    • Joel Schumacher apologized for this film in the DVD Commentary.
    • George Clooney quickly distanced himself soon after it tanked and has yet to stop apologizing for what the film did to the franchise. However, in more recent interviews, he's been kinder to the film, now calling it "the biggest break I ever had" since the role got him into Hollywood and paved the way for his more successful roles later in his career. He still hates the movie though. There was once a persistent, if unconfirmed, rumor that Clooney would pay back the ticket price if you told him you saw the film in theaters.
      Bill Corbett: I'm George Clooney and I'm... sorry."
    • Silverstone is silent on the matter of the franchise, only chiming in to voice support for Ben Affleck's casting as Batman. She only made a couple more major film appearance after this (Excess Baggage and the better-received Blast from the Past), and it can't be a coincidence: Trouble began almost immediately when reports leaked of the actress' costume being resized multiple times due to her putting on weight during the shoot, earning the tabloid nickname "Buttgirl." Fans became nervous, and the backlash grew to the point where Schumacher himself came to Silverstone's defense in interviews, at first genially ("What is this girl's big sin - that she ate some pizza?"), but soon stopped playing Mr. Nice Guy and accused the media of promoting eating disorders in young girls. It seems everybody involved in this snafu misplayed their hand. In any event, critics were even more merciless to Silverstone when the film was released. Since then she's acted on Broadway and in a few film roles, but reportedly refuses to invite that big a spotlight ever again.
  • One for the Money; One for the Art: George Clooney revealed that the main reason he did it was that the salary had effectively given him lifelong financial stability, thus allowing him to pretty much do whatever films he wanted for the rest of his career. Even now he says he doesn't regret taking the role because it made him a movie star but he also keeps a picture of himself in the infamous Batsuit in his office to remind himself to never take something solely for the money ever again.
  • The Other Darrin: Val Kilmer was offered the chance to reprise his role as Bruce Wayne from the previous movie, but turned down the offer due to scheduling conflicts with The Saint and his difficult working relationship with Joel Schumacher. So, he was ultimately replaced by George Clooney.
  • Parody Retcon: George Clooney has often claimed that he "played Batman as gay", when he clearly did nothing of the kind, presumably as a face-saving gesture for the biggest stinker of his post-ER career. Subverted with Joel Schumacher: he knew exactly what kind of movie he was making and insisted that the actors treat it like "a cartoon."
  • Recycled Script: The movie structure is near identical to Batman Forever. Movie opens up with the hero(es) suiting up and Alfred making a quip about food. Next the hero(es) fight an already created super villain and then afterwards through video footage we learn that said villain was once a respected member of society before an unfortunate accident turned him into a maniac. Then a crazy red haired Mad Scientist who works for Wayne Enterprises becomes a green themed super villain and kills his/her former supervisor. Meanwhile a new spunky young adult moves into Wayne Manor with a chip on their shoulder. Then the first villain crashes a charity event that the green-themed villain witnesses and becomes enamored with the other first villain, then the green-themed villain proposes a partnership and the two team-up. Meanwhile, the spunky young adult goes joyriding and almost gets himself/herself killed by thugs with an affinity for neon before being saved by a more experienced resident in Wayne Manor. While this is going on, one of the villains creates a superweapon housed in a highly conspicuous base of operations. The spunky young adult discovers the secrets of the hero(es), then suits up to help out. The hero(es) go on to defeat the green-themed villain first and then defeat the first villain in the climax, destroying the superweapon along the way. Finally, the heroes run off with the bat signal behind them. In between all this, the main hero has some introspective moments wherein he questions the way he manages his life.
  • Refitted for Sequel:
    • Mr. Freeze freezing Gotham City was a plot point in the original planning for Batman Returns, where The Penguin freezes the city as part of his master plan.
    • The car chase on the Gotham rooftop was meant for Batman Forever.
  • Role Reprise:
    • Chris O'Donnell, Michael Gough and Pat Hingle reprised their respective roles as Dick Grayson/Robin, Alfred Pennyworth and Commissioner Gordon. Through returning for this film, Gough and Hingle became the only two actors to appear across all four films in the Burton/Schumacher continuity.
    • Elizabeth Sanders-Kane, the then-wife of Batman co-creator Bob Kane, reprised her role as Gossip Gerty.
    • In the Latin American Spanish dub:
    • The second Brazilian dub manages to keep the Batman from Forever, as Marco Antônio Costa is the usual voice for both Val Kilmer and George Clooney.
  • Romance on the Set: George Clooney was in a relationship with Vendela Kirsebom, who plays Nora Fries, during filming.
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: The Batgirl and Bane figures for the toyline do not look anything like the versions seen in the movie. The Batgirl figure doesn't look anything like any version of the character, but instead resembles an outright Distaff Counterpart version of the movie's version of Batman. At least the Bane figure resembled the comics version of the character, which probably helped fill a void left by the Legends of Batman toyline, which, despite more or less being a toyline based on Knightfall (including a Venom-infused Riddler and three figures of Azrael as Batman) when it wasn't doing the Elseworlds theme, didn't include a Bane figure.
  • Spared by the Cut: Poison Ivy originally found Julie Madison at the Gotham Observatory after she had stolen the keys to the Bat-Signal from Commissioner Gordon and Ivy fatally stabbed her with a knife. She would later be shown using the same knife in the film during her fight with Batgirl. Julie's death scene was cut out of the film, because it was considered too dark for a film aimed for younger viewers, and because Joel Schumacher was interested in bringing her back in the planned sequel.
  • Star-Derailing Role: Clooney and Schwarzenegger were the only two leads to escape unscathed.
    • The combination of this film's failure along with Excess Baggage served to toss Alicia Silverstone out of the A-list at the height of her fame.
    • It's also been said to have done this to Chris O'Donnell, but he says it it's not true and that he had steady work offers through the 2000's but wanted to take time off to raise his kids. Once he was ready to return, he found a smash hit in NCIS: Los Angeles.
    • It did happen to the other lead actress, Uma Thurman, with help from The Avengers the next year, and she would need Quentin Tarantino to help her career again with the Kill Bill movies.
  • Uncredited Role: Corey Haim makes a brief cameo as one of the bikers.
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Word of Gay/Word of Saint Paul: George Clooney told Barbara Walters in an interview that he played Batman as gay in the film (but see also Parody Retcon, above).
    Bruce Wayne isn't gay. But I played him as if he was.
  • Working Title: This film was originally titled Batman 4Ever because it is the fourth film in the series. However, because the third film was already titled Batman Forever, it was retitled "Batman & Robin," which actually was the original title for the third film.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Batman limps visibly inside the freeze rocket. During filming, George Clooney injured his lower leg playing basketball. He needed to cut the boot off of the Batsuit in order to wear a cast.


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