Nearly 17 years have passed since Batman & Robin. The George Clooney Apology Tour should be able to pull over, and take a rest. The actor has gone on to become a distinguished director, and he even picked up two Oscars for Syriana and Argo (which he produced). But Batman & Robin will always be Clooney’s albatross, and he continued to atone today.
George Clooney took part in the Tomorrowland panel at New York Comic-Con, where he entertained the crowds, protected the films’ mysteries, and made jokes at the expense of his failed Batman movie. According to ScreenRant, Clooney admitted that there are still, to this day, two things he feels he needs to apologize for, and he does it all of the time. He said:
I just met Adam West there [referring to behind the NYCC main stage] and I apologized to him. Sorry about the nipples on the suit. Freeze, freeze, I apologize for that."
Clooney is the king of self-deprecating humor. The few times I’ve been lucky enough to speak with him, he always pokes fun at Leatherheads, his period comedy. Why? Because he shot it in my backyard -- in Charlotte, NC – and Clooney never lets me (or himself) forget that it underperformed.
The Batman & Robin jokes are well-deserved, though. People might forget that before Christopher Nolan, director Joel Schumacher plunged the infamous DC hero into a garish, cartoonish nightmare of neon and puns meant to sell more toys to little kids… at the expense of the hero’s legacy. Remember the incessant "ice" jokes in Schumacher’s last Batman film?
And it’s probable that George Clooney didn’t have the clout at the time to just say to Schumacher, "Yeah, the Batsuit can't have nipples."
Thankfully, at this point, all is right with the world. Batman had three successful films under Christopher Nolan. And he’s about to have a rebirth as part of Zack Snyder’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But Clooney will never fully remove that stain from his resume. And the fact that it’s there, I believe, inspires him to make better choices, to choose smarter projects, and to have endless amounts of comedic material when he’s facing an audience of forgiving comic book fans.