The Movie Responsible for George Clooney’s Batman Dares to Show Its Face on Streaming
Nobody has anything kind to say about George Clooney’s ill-fated stint as Batman, especially the actor himself, who still can’t help himself from tearing down his performance a quarter of a century later. And to think, we might have been spared the abomination of Batman & Robin had Val Kilmer opted against making The Saint.
To be fair, Kilmer and director Joel Schumacher were known to butt heads on the set of Batman Forever, but the project only picked up enough steam to escape from over a decade in development hell and make it to the big screen because the leading man had already committed to playing Simon Templar before the fourth outing for the Dark Knight had been placed on the fast-track to production.
Before that, though, it seemed like The Saint would never get made at all after Hugh Grant, Kenneth Branagh, Mel Gibson, Christian Slater, Kevin Costner, Johnny Depp, and Daniel Day-Lewis were all said to have turned down the part. Eventually, the screenplay was rewritten from the ground up when Kilmer signed on, with the end product turning out to be incredibly average.
Based on the classic British spy series, Kilmer’s dashing hero is a master of disguise and a man of many identities, which he uses to his advantage when a Russian oligarch puts him in the line of fire. A $168 million box office return wasn’t all that bad, but the profit margins weren’t high enough to justify the sequels Kilmer had been hoping for.
Instead, The Saint will have to make do with a minor resurgence on streaming, with FlixPatrol naming Phillip Noyce’s romantic espionage actioner as a new addition to the Paramount Plus most-watched chart.