George Clooney is doing interviews for his new movie The Tender Bar. That didn’t stop one Variety reporter from asking the very important question on some DC fans’ minds: why isn’t the Batman actor in The Flash? The upcoming DC film starring Ezra Miller will see the return of both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck in their Bruce Wayne roles. Couldn’t DC get George Clooney to also reprise his role for a third Batman character? If they’re breaking the Multiverse to bring back others, why not him as well. Clooney’s response on the matter was quick, certain, brutal, and hilarious.
“They didn’t ask me,” said George Clooney. “When you destroy a franchise the way I did, usually they look the other way when The Flash comes by.” Brutal. George Clooney only had the opportunity to play Bruce Wayne once in 1997’s Batman & Robin. When you perform a Google search for the title of the movie, one of the top suggested questions that others search for is, “Is Batman & Robin the worst movie ever?”
The film has a rough reputation. So rough, in fact, that Amal Clooney, George Clooney’s wife, said that her husband won’t allow her to watch it. The actor then explained, “There are certain films I just go, ‘I want my wife to have some respect for me.’” He also added that he won’t allow his four-year-old twins to watch it, since having someone so young make fun of him was just too brutal.
Is Batman & Robin really that bad? While the popular opinion is that it was a misstep for George Clooney, there are definitely those who would defend it. We’ve made a strong case for the movie here on Giant Freakin’ Robot, for those who want a full breakdown. The movie came out long before the types of Marvel and DC films we see today and created its own take on the Batman mythology. It introduced characters like Mr Freeze, Poison Ivy, Batgirl, and Robin. It was fun, it was silly, and it was nothing like the Batman movies we see today. If George Clooney had been asked to appear in The Flash, his take on Bruce Wayne would have starkly stood out against Ben Affleck’s gruff Batman or Michael Keaton’s more serious character.
While Batman & Robin was hit hard by critics, it also didn’t do so well at the box office. The movie has a lot of major stars in it, so the studio definitely believed it was going to be a hit. The George Clooney blockbuster went all-in with a budget of $160 million. We see that kind of budget a fair amount today on blockbuster films, though it’s still considered a staggering number. For a film in the late 1990s, that budget is fairly shocking. Then, the movie earned back $238 million at the box office. While it earned over $42 million in its opening weekend, the second weekend out saw a drop in earnings of 63%. That is a very harsh decline and likely speaks to poor reviews stopping audiences from heading to the movie theaters. It wasn’t shocking, then, when the George Clooney-led Batman film didn’t get a sequel.
While we may never see George Clooney as Batman again, The Flash will be seeing both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck pick up their roles. Robert Pattinson will also be appearing on screen in his own universe for DC with The Batman. Clearly, there’s no shortage of actors willing to take the role on, even if Clooney says his time as Bruce Wayne is long done.