Batman & Robin (1997)
FAQAdd to FAQ
Obviously there's Bruce Thomas Wayne/Batman called only Bruce Wayne or Batman on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" from Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939) by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.
Richard John "Dick" Grayson/Robin, called only Dick Grayson or Robin on screen. He made his first appearance in the comic story "Robin the Boy Wonder" from Detective Comics #38 (April 1940) by writer Bill Finger, artist Bob Kane and illustrator Jerry Robinson.
Alfred Thaddeus Crane Pennyworth, called only Alfred Pennyworth on screen, whom in his first appearances was called Alfred Beagle. He first appeared in the comic story "Here Comes Alfred" from Batman #16 (April-May 1943) by writer Donald Clough Cameron and artist Bob Kane. The characters was later reintroduced as Alfred Pennyworth (complete with different appearance) in comics continuity by writer Bill Finger and artist Jerry Robinson.
Police Commissioner James Worthington Gordon, Sr., called Commissioner Gordon on screen. Just like Batman he made his first appearance in the comic story "The Case of the Chemical Syndicate" from Detective Comics #27 (May, 1939) by writer Bill Finger and artist Bob Kane.
Dr. Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze who was originally called Mr. Zero and was originaly a joke character. He made his first appearance in the comic story "The Ice Crimes of Mr. Zero!" from Batman #121 (February, 1959) by ghost writers David Wood and Sheldon Moldoff and artist Bob Kane. He was renamed to Mr. Freeze for the 1966 Adam West TV series and given the alias Dr. Art Schivel. Then Nearly 30 years later in Heart of Ice (1992), he was given a diffrent alias Dr. Victor Fries and his origins were retold by writer Paul Dini. The episode introduced his terminally ill, cryogenically frozen wife Nora Fries, which explained his obsession with ice and need to build a criminal empire to raise research funds. This more complex, tragic character was enthusiastically accepted by fans, and has become the standard portrayal for the character in most forms of media, including this film and the comic book series themselves, which previously had the character casually killed off by the Joker. Mr. Freeze was resurrected in the comics not long after "Heart of Ice" aired.
Dr. Pamela Lillian Isley, called Pamela Isley or Dr. Isley on screen. She made her first apperance in the comic story "Beware of - Poison Ivy!" from Batman # by 181 (June 1966) by writer Robert Kanigher and artist Sheldon Moldoff.
Bane, who made his the first appearance in the comic story Batman: Vengeance of Bane #1 (January 1993) by writers Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench, and artist Graham Nolan, from a concept by Denny O'Neil.
Doctor Jason Woodrue, who made his first comic apperance in The Atom #1 (June-July 1962) by writer Gardner Fox and artist Gil Kane. In the comics Woodrue was an exile from an interdimensional world inhabited by dryads. Calling himself the Plant Master, Woodrue used his advanced botanical knowledge to control plant growth in an attempt to take over the world but was defeated by the superheroe "the Atom". In the film he and always has been human.
Julie Madison, who made her first apperance in the comic story "Batman Versus the Vampire (Part I)" from Detective Comics #31 (September 1939) by writer Gardner Fox and artits Bob Kane & Sheldon Moldoff.
All other characters were created just for the film by the films writers with the exeption of Barbara Wilson/Batgirl who who first introduceed as Barbara Gordon/Batgirl for the 1966 Adam West TV series. Edit
It's a long story so here goes....
After the success of the Superhero Superman, artist Bob Kane tried to come up with his own hero "The Bat-Man" he then asked for writer Bill Finger's assistance on the project. Finger rejected several of Kane's initial ideas about the character and suggested several changes in design and characterization.
Kane marketed the "Batman" character to National Comics, and Batman's first story was published in "Detective Comics" #27 (May 1939). The script was written by an uncredited Finger, making him the first of many ghost writers to work on comics officially credited to Bob Kane. When Kane negotiated a contract about selling the rights to the "Batman" character, he claimed he was the sole creator of the character and demanded a sole mandatory byline on all Batman comics and adaptations thereof, acknowledging him as the creator. Out of fairness, Kane agreed to pay Finger his share with money out of his earnings. Unfortunately, the agreement was never put into writing, and Finger never saw a cent.
Finger would go on to ghost write Batman stories up into the mid 1960's, either with Kane or for DC Comics directly. During his writing tenure, Finger was responsible for the unaccredited creation of many key players and pieces in the Batman universe. Some of Finger's important contributions include Batman's origin story, his civilian identity Bruce Wayne, which Finger named after Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland and general Anthony "Mad Anthony" Wayne. He came up with a civilian identity for the character as "Bruce Wayne", which Finger named after Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland and general Anthony "Mad Anthony" Wayne. He also came up with his nickname "The Dark Knight," his sidekick Robin, the Batmobile, the Batcave, his arch-nemesis The Joker, and his occasional love interest Catwoman, as well as Commissioner Gordon, The Riddler and The Scarecrow. Despite all of this, the only writing credit that Finger received for Batman in his lifetime were two episode of Batman (1966), The Clock King's Crazy Crimes (1966) and The Clock King Gets Crowned (1966) which he co-wrote with friend Charles Sinclair.
Eventually, the truth did come out. Finger attended the first official New York Comic Con in 1965 and sat on a panel with other comic book creators where he revealed the role he played in Batman's creation. Finger's story gained exposure in a two-page article titled "If the truth be known, or a Finger in every plot!," written and distributed by pop culturist Jerry Bails. Kane caught wind of Finger's appearance not long after and replied in the form of a printed letter to Batman fan magazine, "Batmania," where he labeled his old friend a fraud. Finger, who by this time was deeply in debt, continued to write for various projects in and outside of comic books until his death in 1974, when he was found alone in his apartment by friend Charles Sinclair. Finger died penniless and his contributions to the character was never acknowledged in his lifetime.
However, after the popularity of Tim Burton's Batman (1989), Kane acknowledged Finger as "a contributing force" in the character's creation, and wrote in his 1989 autobiography "Batman and Me" that "Now that my long-time friend and collaborator is gone, I must admit that Bill never received the fame and recognition he deserved. He was an unsung hero ... I often tell my wife, if I could go back fifteen years, before he died, I would like to say. 'I'll put your name on it now. You deserve it.'"
Many failed attempts were made over the years by Finger's family to get him recognition for his work, including a request from his second wife Lyn Simmons to have his name listed in the credits of Tim Burton's Batman (1989).
Finger remained largely unknown, even to Batman fans, until writer Marc Tyler Nobleman began investigating the late author's life for a book being written about him called "Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman". Nobleman went in search of Finger's family to help fill in the gaps and give him credit. While Finger's autopsy report claimed no relatives were present, Nobleman discovered that Finger had a son, Fred. Unfortunately, Fred, who was an outspoken proponent of his father, had died in 1992. Nobleman learned that Fred was also homosexual, leading him to believe that Fred had no children before his death. The trail was starting to go cold.
However, after receiving new information from Finger's nephew, Nobleman discovered Fred indeed had a daughter, Athena Finger, who was born two years after Finger's death. Nobleman met with Athena and convinced her to meet with DC about getting recognition for her grandfather. DC in turn welcomed Athena with open arms, cut her a check and invited her to the premiere of The Dark Knight (2008) with all expenses paid. It wasn't until around 2012 that DC offered her more money. This time, however, she had to sign away her rights to her grandfather's claim. With encouragement from Nobleman, Athena rejected the money and took DC to court.
It took years of litigation before a settlement was reached. A major turning point in the case was the unearthing of recorded interviews with Bob Kane during the writing of his autobiography. During one of the interviews, Tom Andrae, Kane's co-writer, asked Kane to what extent Finger contributed to Batman's creation. "Bill was responsible for 50 to 75 percent," Kane bluntly responded. Finally, in September 2015, DC issued a statement informing the public that Finger would be listed as co-creator on any piece of Batman media henceforth. Starting with the superhero film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and the second season of Gotham (2014), an updated acknowledgement for the character appeared as "Batman created by Bob Kane with Bill Finger".
Finger's story was later used as the subject of the Hulu original documentary, Batman & Bill (2017). Edit
Batman (George Clooney) and his new partner Robin (Chris O'Donnell), while still ironing out some difficulties between them, go up against two new villains—Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman). In order to get the money needed to finish finding a cure for a mysterious disease called MacGregor's Syndrome that has stricken his wife, Mr. Freeze plans to hold Gotham hostage by freezing the city into a permanent winter. Poison Ivy and her sidekick Bane (Jeep Swenson) want to stop the wanton pollution of Mother Earth by killing off everything on the planet and reseeding it with her botanical "babies". Meanwhile, Barbara Wilson (Alicia Silverstone), the niece of Alfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough), arrives at Wayne Manor, and it is revealed that Alfred is dying. Edit
A Nobel Prize winner for molecular biology, Victor Fries placed his wife in cryogenic sleep when she came down with MacGregor's Syndrome, hoping to develop a cure for her. During his work, he was electrocuted and fell into a vat of cryosolution cooled to −50°F (−46°C). It mutated his body so that he now must wear a cryosuit that uses diamond-enhanced lasers to keep his body at 0°F (−18°C). Edit
MacGregor's Syndrome is a fictitious disease invented for the movie. No information is given as to how it attacks the human body other than that it is fatal. It appears to go through four stages, each stage becoming progressively harder to cure. Freeze's wife is in stage 4, which is why he placed her in cryosleep until he can find a cure. On the other hand, Alfred is only in stage 1 and is easily cured when injected with Freeze's cure. Edit
Gotham City is a fictional U.S. port city located on the north-eastern Atlantic coast. It was originally a stand-in for New York City but has also resembled other crime-ridden, highly-populated urban centers such as Chicago and Detroit. Some sources, including Mayfair Games' authorized (but now out-of-print) Atlas of the DC Universe, have placed Gotham City in the state of New Jersey. Christopher Nolan (director of Batman Begins (2005) and its sequels, The Dark Knight (2008) (2008) and The Dark Knight Rises (2012) (2012)) locates Gotham City in the middle of the estuary of the Liberty River where it empties into the Atlantic Ocean. The river separates most of Gotham from the mainland. The River Merchant divides Uptown from Midtown, while Midtown is separated from Downtown by the Gotham River. The Narrows is a small island in the Gotham River. A creek divides the district of South Hinkley from the rest of Gotham City. Gotham International Airport is in Pettsburg, to the north of the Liberty River estuary. The current DC Universe version of Gotham City is separated from the mainland by the Gotham River, bridged by a series of bridges and tunnels. The east and south sides of Gotham face the Atlantic Ocean. The city is further divided by the Sprang River (named for Dick Sprang) on the northern end and the Finger River (for Bill Finger) to the south. Tiny Blackgate Isle to the south-east is home to Blackgate Maximum Security Penitentiary. (Blackgate is replaced by Stonegate Penitentiary in the animated series Batman: The Animated Series (1992) and its spin-offs.) Edit
In the comics spanning from 1967 to 1988 and in the well-known 1960s Batman (1966) television series, Batgirl was Barbara Gordon, the police commissioner's daughter. For unspecified reasons, this film re-christened her as Barbara Wilson and made her the niece of Alfred Pennyworth (Bruce Wayne's butler), a rewriting of the character echoed nowhere else before or since. The reason for this change has never been made clear, although Commissioner Gordon was relegated to a fairly minor role in this particular run of Batman movies, and it was simpler to retcon Batgirl/Barbara as Alfred's niece rather than drastically expand a character who, for three movies, was very minor. Edit
No. On the contrary, in fact. Bane was a criminal genius who was able to defeat Batman both mentally and physically, which resulted in Bane breaking Batman's back. Bane also released all the inmates from Arkham Asylum and took over the city. In the 2012 film, The Dark Knight Rises (2012); Bane is the main villain and is depicted far more faithfully to the comics. Edit
Freeze had only managed to find a cure for the disease in its earliest stages; his wife's case was too advanced for the treatment Freeze had found to be of any help to her. This is actually explained quite clearly in the film, yet this criticism frequently seems to pop up. While the script does contain many lapses in logic and continuity, this isn't one of them. Edit
There are only three confirmed on-screen deaths, namely Dr. Woodrue and two security guards at Arkham Asylum, all of whom fall victim to Poison Ivy's kiss. It's also quite possible that some of the museum staff and security guards who were frozen at the start of the movie died from not being thawed out in time, as Mr. Freeze implies that the effects of his freezing ray are lethal if the victim is not thawed out within 11 minutes, and this revelation comes 14 minutes into the movie. Edit
Val Kilmer claimed he was asked to return to the role of Batman but that, due to his commitment with The Saint (1997), he was not interested in doing so. However, he and director Joel Schumacher did not get along during the production of the previous movie, Batman Forever (1995), and Schumacher made it public that he found Kilmer difficult to work with. In an open letter written to Kilmer, Schumacher even suggested that his unprofessional, problematic behavior was due to mental health problems. This is most likely what facilitated the need to cast a new actor to play Batman. Edit
The likely explanation is because it was so light (both literally and thematically), campy in tone and poorly written. This was a radical departure from how the other movies in the series had been made, as the first two in particular were very dark and gothic, and even the third movie (also directed by Joel Schumacher) was darker than this one. There are, of course, other reasons why fans and critics voiced their displeasure at the film, such as the use of various bad or uninteresting puns made by the character of Mr. Freeze, which all centered around an ice-related theme ("You're not sending me to the cooler!"). This was a great removal from the tragic undertones incorporated into his character in the early 1990s that were almost universally accepted by fans (though the backstory was still there, the campiness detached the audience from any true emotional connection). Fans were also upset over the depiction of Bane; whilst in the comics he is a very cunning strategist, in this film he is simply a mindless thug who might as well have been a generic goon. Extremely poor set designs, special effects and costumes have also been cited, along with questionable artistic choices (including giving a bluer color to Batman's outfit). Even by 1997 standards and with a 125-million-USD budget, the production values were extremely low. The acting has also been widely regarded as hollow and many of the actors (similarly to Val Kilmer's embarrassment at the previous Schumacher film) have admitted to not performing well in this film. George Clooney even publicly apologized for the film as a whole. Schumacher would also apologize for the film and cite studio interference and pressure to make the film more kid-friendly and more a showcase for potential action figures and toys. Similar situations have occurred with other media franchises, e.g. the relationships among the original RoboCop (1987) and its sequels, all of which included a toy line despite the first two films qualifying to be rated R, the first nearly overqualifying. In the Batman film series' case, most likely the studio wanted to pull back from the extra dark tone that Batman Returns (1992) established from its nearly-as-dark original; a situation similar to the relationships among the first three Indiana Jones films. Edit
Yes. According to Box Office Mojo, the film's production budget was 125 million USD (not counting marketing and distribution costs which would add tens of millions of dollars onto the final total). The film made a total of 238 million USD worldwide, but this does not mean the film made a profit, as theatres often keep almost half of ticket sales for films they screen (usually up to 45%). Batman & Robin was therefore the most expensive Batman film made at that time, but made the least amount of money, and the studio's share of the film's takings would not have covered their outlay. Coupled with extremely negative reception from both critics and audiences, it caused Warner Brothers to cancel the already-planned fifth film, which would have been titled Batman Triumphant. The never-produced film, also to have been directed by Joel Schumacher, was to have featured the Scarecrow and Harley Quinn as its villains, with a possible hallucinatory appearance by Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Feeling that the extreme backlash against Batman & Robin would result in future Batman films faring poorly, the franchise was put on the shelf for many years before Batman Begins (2005) restarted it with a completely new continuity. Edit
While researching animal-plant crossbreeding to create venomous plants that can fight against the ravages of humans, Dr. Isley discovers that her colleague, Dr Jason Woodrue (John Glover), has been swiping her venoms to create the super killing machine, Bane. When she confronts him, Woodrue pushes her down and overturns various venoms on top of her. When she emerges, Isley has been changed into Poison Ivy. Her blood has been replaced with aloe, her skin with chlorophyll, and her kisses have become venomous. Edit
When Freeze disables and destroys the telescope, Batgirl realigns various satelites to reflect the sun's light from the Congo and thaw Gotham. Batman shows Freeze a video of Poison Ivy admitting that it was she who killed Freeze's wife, but Batman assures him that he found and restored her in time. Out of thanks, Victor agrees to give Batman the serum to cure Alfred's sickness. Victor is sent to Arkham Asylum but is allowed access to the lab so that he can continue his research into a cure for his wife. He joins Ivy in her cell and vows to make her life a living hell. After receiving the serum, Alfred recovers and agrees to let Barbara come live at Wayne Manor. Batman, Batgirl, and Robin shake on the idea of being partners, and Alfred comments "We're going to need a bigger cave." In the final scene, Batman, Batgirl, and Robin are shown running together in the glow of the bat signal. Edit