Arnold Schwarzenegger played the iconic character of Mr. Freeze in the 1997 film Batman & Robin, and he was paid handsomely for the role.
The 1997 film Batman & Robin is widely regarded as one of the worst films ever created, not only in the genre of comic books, but also in general. A gaudy nightmare of overacting, bad writing, and lacklustre action, the sequel didn’t do well at the box office.
It also only racked up a score of 12 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, with one critic writing: “It’s not good, but it’s not the total disaster its legacy would suggest. As an ode to the Silver Age of the Caped Crusader, it gets a lot of things right, but the pacing grinds to a halt any time one of our heroes is on screen. Thank god for Uma Thurman.”
It’s amazing to look back on Batman & Robin and realise how bizarre it is in light of the contemporary comic book movie scene, albeit it has developed a bit of a cult following for this precise reason.
Warner Bros. placed the series on hold until eventually revamping it with Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, despite intentions for a darker sequel titled Batman Unchained.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of Mr. Freeze was among Batman & Robin’s most iconic features.
He was one of the Dark Knight’s most interesting adversaries when Batman: The Animated Series‘ “Heart Of Ice” recreated him a few years earlier with a new tragic story. However, for the movie, Arnold dealt numerous ice puns and wore a crazy suit, steering away from the revamp.
There weren’t many movie stars larger than Schwarzenegger at the time, thus Arnie’s selection as Mr. Freeze followed the Batman franchise template of choosing a greater celebrity for the bad guy.
There’s no doubt that a major factor in his decision to participate was the money, earning $25 million for Batman & Robin. When calculating how much time he really spent on the set, THR retrospective found that the celebrity made $1 million each day of filming. Along with his time in the makeup chair and getting dressed, he had a twelve-hour workday policy written into his contract, which restricted how much time spent in front of the camera.
Actor George Clooney was paid barely a fraction of what Schwarzenegger earned, getting $1 million for his role as Bruce Wayne.
He spoke out about the role in an interview with Howard Stern, admitting: “It’s so bad, it actually hurts to watch. You’ll be flipping the channels and it’ll just pop up and I’ll go ‘Oh, no, no no.’ …The truth of the matter is I was bad in it.”
He also commented on the pay difference on the Awards Chatter podcast, Clooney said: “Schwarzenegger was paid, I think, $25 million for that…was like 20 times more than I was paid for it.”
Fans can’t believe it, with some taking to social media to share their thoughts. One said: “$1 million a day. For the worst movie ever made!”
While another commented: “I’ve only ever watched this movie twice in my life but my hatred for it is forever burned into my mind.”
“Greediness to the max, a good actor? worth 25 million for 25 days? I think not,” a third wrote.