George Clooney on what he learned from his much-maligned Batman film

George Clooney said the dire critical response to much-maligned superhero film Batman & Robin changed how he approached potential roles for the rest of his career.

Clooney played the Caped Crusader in Joel Schumacher’s flamboyant 1997 movie, which has gone down in infamy among Batman fans.

The Hollywood star, who has since said he finds watching Batman & Robin painful, revealed his experience on the film made him focus on better scripts.

George Clooney
George Clooney

Speaking during a BAFTA A Life In Pictures event dedicated to his career, Clooney recalled the build-up to starring in acclaimed comedy Out Of Sight and said: “It had been a year, I’d gotten killed for doing Batman & Robin and I understood for the first time, because quite honestly when I got Batman & Robin I was just an actor getting an acting job and I was excited to play Batman.

“What I realised after that was that I was going to be held responsible for the movie itself, not just my performance or what I was doing. So I knew I needed to focus on better scripts, the script was the most important thing.

“You can’t make a good film out of a bad script, it’s impossible. You can make a bad film out of a good script.”

Clooney’s latest film is sci-fi drama The Midnight Sky, which he also directed. It arrived on Netflix last month to a largely positive reception.

The increasingly powerful influence of streaming in Hollywood led to fears over the future of cinemas, fears which intensified after the pandemic closed theatres for months on end.

Clooney, 59, said the theatre industry should receive government support during the health crisis but does not believe it faces an existential threat.

He said: “I know there’s this panic about cinemas because they’re not being looked after by our governments, which is a huge industry issue. We subsidise oil companies, we could subsidise the movie theatres for a period of time.

“I’m not worried about us being back, cinema will always exist, we’re all going to be back together, you still have to go out some time right? You still have to go to a concert, go see a movie. You want a collective.”