Chris O’Donnell On Why His ‘Robin’ Spin-Off Never Happened & Passing On Men In Black

The end of this summer’s box office blockbuster “The Dark Knight Rises” left the audience wondering if the next big screen installment might see Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character, Robin, suiting up to fight the bad guys in Gotham City.

And while fans anxiously await to see how the story may unfold, a former Caped Crusader sidekick has revealed a Robin spin-off actually almost happened several years ago.

During an interview with Access Hollywood Live’s Billy Bush and Kit Hoover on Thursday, Chris O’Donnell revealed that plans were in the works for his own Robin spin-off on the heels of his roles as Batman’s buddy in “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin” – but there was just one problem.

“They were going to do one back in the day,” Chris told Billy and Kit. “And then [‘Batman & Robin’] was such a bomb, they were like, ‘Scrap that!’

“That was the end of that,” he explained.

Panned by fans and critics as the worst film in the Batman franchise, 1997’s “Batman & Robin” starred George Clooney as Batman, with Chris as his trusty sidekick Robin, battling the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger as Mr. Freeze and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy, while introducing Alicia Silverstone as Batgirl.

The film was so bad, Clooney himself was quoted as saying “I think we might have killed the franchise,” at one point.

Nevertheless, Chris said it’s tough to look back with regret on any roles he took on – or even, passed on.

One of his more famous decisions – to pass on the lead role in the 1997 film “Men in Black,” which eventually went to Will Smith.

“You know what, there’s always stuff like that that comes up and it’s different reasons at the time and I don’t know, you just keep moving on,” Chris said on Access Hollywood Live.

“But you can’t look back and say, ‘It would’ve been the same film if I had done it.’ Things work out for a reason. There are lots of films that I passed on, that thank God I passed on because other things wouldn’t have happened,” he added.

For more with Chris, including how his family life has shaped his career,

Eric Anderson

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