--[if IE 5]> Vignette StoryServer 6.0 Wed Nov 19 16:37:30 2008 Batman and Robin | Batman & Robin | Movie News | Movies | Entertainment Weekly


Starring George Clooney, Chris O'Donnell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone, Elle MacPherson

Director Joel Schumacher

Opens June 20

Let's face it: the real superheroes in Hollywood these days are the agents and managers who brokered the salaries for the stars of the latest caped crusade. Warner Bros. reportedly spent $60 million on actors' salaries alone (though disputes continue about whether Arnold really did earn $25 mil for a mere six weeks' work). ''I'm the first to admit that spending that kind of money is an atrocity,'' says director Schumacher, ''but this is what it seems to take.''

No one said it would be easy upping the ante on an already money-guzzling franchise, though the fourth Gotham go-round looks like it has a bounty of booty: fabulously costumed megastars (Schwarzenegger's icicle-shooting Mr. Freeze required six hours of makeup and wardrobe each day), hip chicks (like Silverstone's not-so-Clueless Batgirl), and an endless array of awesome ''stuff'' (check out Robin's Redbird cycle). Providing the ever-changing scowl beneath the cowl, ER's George Clooney has a rather unheroic take on his part in Bat-history. ''I'm just hoping not to screw up what's become a terrific franchise,'' he says, ''but at this point Abe Vigoda could play Batman and it would still be cool.'' UPSIDE An A-list cast. DOWNSIDE B-list bad guys. Where are the Joker and Catwoman when you need them?

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