Joel Schumacher's Batman & Robin is a terrible film. The performances are weak, the Day-Glo splattered Gotham is ugly as sin, and the script is incredibly stupid. There are many people whom fans like to blame for this cinematic catastrophe, from the executives at Warner Bros. who gave the project the green light to the people at DC Comics who let Batman be treated so horrifically on the big screen, but there is really only one person whom the movie's director blames for its failings: himself.
Variety had the chance to interview Schumacher at the Hamptons Film Festival, and when the topic turned to the filmmaker's most notorious movie, he pointed a finger only at himself as the man responsible person for Batman & Robin's failings. Specifically citing the fact that he had never made a sequel before, Schumacher said that he simply should have never said "yes" to the project, which was demanded quickly after the blockbuster success of Batman Forever. At this point, his only hopes for the project is that it doesn't go down as one of the worst in history. Said the director,
"I just hope whenever I see a list of the worst movies ever made, we’re not on it. I didn’t do a good job. George did. Chris [O’Donnell] did. Uma [Thurman] is brilliant in it. Arnold is Arnold."
While Schumacher clearly doesn't like to be reminded of Batman & Robin's failings, he is also aware that one particular element of it is going to follow him for the rest of his life: the Bat-nipples. The director says that he was completely surprised by the negative reaction to the costume feature, but feels that it will be what he is ultimately remembered for. "I think that will be on my gravestone," he said.
Unlike Batman & Robin, though, it also seems that Schumacher still has fond memories making Batman Forever - which made $336 million worldwide when it was released in 1995. The movie was made for less than $100 million and wound up being the biggest film of the year, and Schumacher says it was his "total passion." He added,
My bosses let me change Batman. Jim [Carrey] was inspired as the Riddler. Tom Lee Jones played Harvey Two Face. Drew Barrymore is in it. Debi Mazar plays a bad girl. It has a great cast and everyone did a great job. It was fun to create a Batman movie."
Batman's on-screen presence has obviously changed quite a bit since Joel Schumacher's day, and certainly for the better. Christopher Nolan wowed audiences with his Dark Knight trilogy - completely reinventing the Caped Crusader's Hollywood image - and now the superhero is set to return to the big screen in Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will be out in 2016. As Schumacher knows, however, we will never forget.