Batman & Robin has long been considered one of the worst movies ever made.
When director Joel Schumacher made Batman Forever, he wasn’t able to match the cool put out by the first two Tim Burton films, but he made something that was watchable, with a style all its own. With Batman & Robin, Schumacher was working under massive time constraints and with some of the worst superhero performances ever recorded.
If you repressed all memory of this big budget stinker, here are some of the things that made sure the filming of Batman & Robin was a nightmare.
Major parts of the film were created by a toy company
The pre-production for Batman & Robin sounds like a nightmare, according to Ranker. The toy company working on merchandise started giving input on the film, and even helped design the Batmobile. In a commentary piece released after the fact, director Joel Schumacher said that Warner Bros. didn’t care if he made a good movie, as long as it was “toyetic.” The behind-the-scenes reel also features Chris O’Donnell claiming that while Batman Forever was a “real movie” Batman & Robin felt like a “toy commercial.”
It took forever to get Schwarzenegger in costume
Yes, it took 11 people four hours every morning to put Arnold Schwarzenegger into his costume. No one says how long it took to get him out of costume, but the time spent was likely comparable. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but the star had a hard 12-hour rule written into his contract that wouldn’t allow him to stay on set any longer. That didn’t give him a lot of time to film.
Remember, Schwarzenegger got paid one million dollars a day for his work on the film, even if the cameras were only rolling for a couple hours.
There was a lot of money wasted
20 years after Batman & Robin was released, O’Donnell was incredibly open in an interview with Entertainment Tonight, detailing how the studio seemed more than happy to solve their problems with money. He recalled that immediately after finishing Batman Forever “all of a sudden it was like, boom here’s another one. There was a lot of waste. I felt it wasn’t tight and it wasn’t thought out. People just got greedy. That being said, I had a great time doing it.”
Remember the Bat-Nipples?
The stand-out complaint about Batman & Robin is that the stars have anatomically correct suits, complete with visible nipples. In a behind-the-scenes feature detailing the history of the Batsuits in film, multiple costume designers discuss what inspired them to create their specific Batsuits.
With regards to Batman & Robin, costume coordinator Randy Gardell does his best to explain why Joel Schumacher wanted nipples on the suit. “They wanted to basically have it feel human in a way and yet animal in a way. I think Joel loved the idea of having nipples on it.”
Not only were the Bat-nipples intentional, they were actually the director’s preference. Weird.
Arnold got battery acid in his mouth
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s costume is insane in Batman & Robin. He’s spray-painted silver and covered in giant silver Transformers parts. Even though Schwarzenegger was covered in a toxic, flammable substance, the worst part was the LED light that had to go in his mouth during close-ups. The LED light had batteries in it that would leak acid into Schwarzenegger’s mouth when his saliva hit the casing.
Makeup artist Jeff Dawn explained the oral nightmare: “When you put it in Arnold’s mouth, Arnold’s saliva would creep into the seams of this thing and attack the batteries. The batteries would immediately start disintegrating and start putting out battery acid into Arnold’s mouth.”