Itâ€™s become incredibly popular to hate on the 1997 film Batman and Robin (Who am I kidding? Itâ€™s always been popular), and for good reason. The movie is complete and utter garbage. Based on everything Schumacher has said in the past, it was the perfect stew of the studio wanting to go forward no matter what, them having to gear the film towards selling toys, and Schumacher having a slight case of hubris on the heels of several successes.
All of this culminated in what many fans think may be one the worst superhero films of all time. While Batman Forever was at least tolerable in its camp, Batman and Robin was on a whole other level. Of course, itâ€™s only because it was such a mammoth failure that the studio put Batman on ice before resurrecting it with Batman Begins, so every cloud has a silver lining. Had things turned out differently, who knows how many more camp-fests we would have gotten?
In an extensive recounting of the making of Batman and Robin, director Joel Schumacher revealed that he did have an itch to direct another Batman-related film:
“I always wanted to do a whole Arkham movie, and did a scene at the end of Batman Forever when Jim is in a straitjacket and Nicole [Kidman] comes to see him. And it was just a nod to back to Arkham Asylum which I love, and I thought it would be fun to put the other villains up there.â€
Of course, we never got to see that film, and only ended up with the stupid Batman and Robin instead. Not exactly a good tradeoff. However, given the immense power the toymakers seemed to have, it sounds like something that would have ended up in the dumps to begin with. At the end of the day, Batman and Robin may not have been the movie we deserved, but it was the one we needed to eventually allow Batman Begins to happen.
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