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Billy Corgan fell asleep during Batman and Robin premiere

Billy Corgan recalls attending the Batman and Robin premiere with The Smashing Pumpkins, and not entirely enjoying the whole experience

Alicia Silverstone, George Clooney, and Chris O'Donnell in Batman and Robin

Generally, Batman movies make for a good time, but some of them are less arresting that others. Billy Corgan, of alt-rock band The Smashing Pumpkins, found that even having one of his songs in a subpar action movie wasn’t enough to hold his attention.

Speaking at an acoustic show at Madame ZuZu’s, a tea shop he owns, Corgan gave the crowd an anecdote from working on 1997’s Batman and Robin. The Smashing Pumpkins had a song on the soundtrack, ‘The End is the Beginning is the End’, that was also to be featured in the end credits. As Corgan says, being a part of a blockbuster thriller movie starring George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“We’re at the premiere, over there on Westwood, the limos, the lights, the famous theatre that’s been doing premieres since the ’30s,” he recalls. “Everybody’s dressed up. Watching the movie, it’s so bad – it’s like ‘How can you be in a bad Batman movie? This is so unfair!’ I love Joel, but the movie’s terrible. I passed out in the middle.”

He did snap out of it for The Smashing Pumpkins, however. “I woke up for the end credits, because here comes my song,” he says. “They play the song, and then about a minute in they just cut it for another song. I was like ‘What the fuck?'”

In frustration, Corgan contacted director Joel Schumacher about only getting a snippet. “I wrote him an email, saying ‘I thought we were supposed to get the credits song’,” Corgan says. “And he goes ‘But you did’, and I go, ‘We only got a minute’, and he goes, ‘Yeah we had to promise all those other things to all those other people to promote this shitty movie. Don’t be mad at me!'”

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Batman and Robin is one of the more contentious DCEU-adjacent films, and that’s being polite. When it came out, fans strongly disliked the campy take on Gotham City, cheesy dialogue, and over-the-top performances. Time has been kinder to what Schumacher was going for, as it harkens back to the Batman ’66 TV series.

That said, while Uma Thurman nailed Poison Ivy, and Clooney was far from the worst Batman actor, Schwarzenegger’s Mr Freeze and Robert Swenson’s Bane left something to be desired. We wouldn’t say no to Alicia Silverstone getting another go with Batgirl, mind.