George Clooney played Batman in the notorious (but not as awful as its reputation leads you to believe) 1997 blockbuster Batman & Robin. The movie is widely considered to be the worst in the Batman franchise and even Clooney himself has even bemoaned his involvement in the role. He even went so far as to try and convince Ben Affleck not to play the Caped Crusader when the role landed in his lap. It doesn’t seem like most people, including the actor himself, would want to see a return to this version of Gotham City’s sworn protector. However, if certain circumstances end up causing some problems for a current DC movie, we might just be seeing this take on the Dark Knight on the big screen once again.
Insider Daniel Richtman is reporting that George Clooney might end up stepping in for Michael Keaton’s return to Batman on The Flash. Due to scheduling issues and coronavirus concerns, Keaton has recently stated that he might not be able to fulfill his return to the character in The Flash. If that is not able to happen, it looks like the studio is already trying to get a contingency plan in place. Richtman is saying that Clooney and Christian Bale are both being talked about as replacing Keaton if he is not able to make an appearance in the movie. This still seems like it is up in the air but it is enough of a concern that Warner Bros./DC is making moves to prepare for the possibility that Keaton won’t be on board.
While it would certainly be entertaining to see George Clooney or Christian Bale return as Batman in The Flash, there is no doubt that Michael Keaton’s involvement in the project has been one of the most hyped elements of it. If it turns out that he is unable to fulfill that appearance, there could be something of a backlash from the DC fanbase. Granted, there is undoubtedly a strong contingency of fans who would jump for joy at Christian Bale reprising his specific role of Batman, but it is tough to imagine Clooney would generate the same level of enthusiasm from most fans. It would all depend on how the character is being utilized. On that note, if Keaton does have to pull out of The Flash, it will undoubtedly require a major rewrite of the movie since the story seems to specifically reference the involvement of Keaton’s particular version of the Caped Crusader.
While getting to see George Clooney or Christian Bale back as Batman would be a different kind of treat for longtime fans, it seems clear that folks are really anticipating Michael Keaton coming back to the role for the first time since 1992’s absolutely excellent Batman Returns. If that does not end up being the case, things could start to get murky and tough for The Flash moving forward. With that film having been stuck in development hell for so long and finally getting production underway, this kind of setback could be a significant blow to the movie.