George Clooney: Why Hasn’t He Made A Movie In 5 Years?

George Clooney hasn’t been in front of the camera in nearly five years. Even though that is about to change, he's left fans wondering why their leading man has taken such a long break.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

George Clooney

It sounds strange to say, but George Clooney is just not that big of a star anymore. His popularity hasn’t waned, but his box office draw certainly has and you may wonder why.

Perhaps it’s because George Clooney hasn’t been in front of the camera in nearly five years. Even though that is about to change, he’s left fans wondering why their leading man has taken such a long break.

Here’s everything we know about where George Clooney has been and why he suddenly disappeared.


Facts of Life

Sometimes we look at movie stars and we take them for granted. George Clooney could fall into this category. The 59-year old actor (yes, 59!) has been acting for parts of 5 decades now.

George Clooney got his start in the late ‘70s as a 17-year old in the TV mini-series Centennial. He was then seen in his feature debut in And They’re Off, then Grizzly II: Revenge. He began to get more work in 1984 and ’85 when he appeared on Riptide, Street Hawk, E/R (no, not THAT ER), and Crazy Like a Fox. But Clooney only started to make waves when he jumped on board the TV series The Facts of Life.

George Clooney was beginning to make a name for himself. The Facts of Life was just the beginning. After his time on Facts he was seen in a string of TV series that included Hunter, Murder, She Wrote, The Golden Girls, The Law and Harry McGraw, Baby Talk and Clooney also took on a recurring role in the hit series Rosanne. Again, all this was done before he appeared in his most recognizable TV role. He was also seen in Sunset Beat, Bodies of Evidence, The Building, and Sisters. Then came the big one.


George Clooney

George Clooney got the role as Dr. Doug Ross on the hit show ER in 1994. He was already slowly making a name for himself in Hollywood, but it was as Doug Ross that pushed his star over the top. The show also made names of Anthony Edwards, Julianna Margulies, and Noah Wyle.

George Clooney’s character was an immediate hit and over his five seasons, he was nominated twice for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and three Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actor – Television Drama Series losing each and every time to Anthony Edwards.

George Clooney on ER

During his ER years, George Clooney began to star in more and more feature films. Bigger films that what he was used to. For this reason, Clooney decided to end his time on ER. He made a cameo in the series 6th season and then he returned for one last time on the series finale.

During George Clooney’s time on ER, he crossed over to bigger and bigger feature films. He was bankable and Hollywood was cashing in, as was the star. He nabbed roles in the Robert Rodriguez hit From Dusk Till Dawn, the comedy One Fine Day, then the ill-fated decision to take on the Batman role in the critically panned Batman & Robin.

George Clooney as Batman

Batman didn’t seem to slow him down as he was then seen in The Peacemaker, Out of Sight, The Thin Red Line, and Three Kings, all this during his ER years. George Clooney was a bonafide movie star.


George Clooney

George Clooney’s impressive list of big movies is long. Almost too long to spell out. But there are quite a few worth mentioning. One includes a franchise, Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven franchise where he starred as Danny Ocean with an amazing cast of men that included Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, the late Carl Reiner and Bernie Mac, Elliot Gould, Casey Affleck, and Scott Caan. Julia Roberts also lent her talents. The franchise gave birth to two sequels: Ocean’s Twelve and Ocean’s Thirteen, all three movies bringing in major box office.

As his career continued, George Clooney was taking more control of behind the scenes. He was producing most of his films as well as now co-writing and directing. As a director, he was behind the camera for such films as Good Night, and Good Luck, Leatherheads, The Ides of March, and The Monuments Men. Of those movies, he wrote Good Night, and Good Luck, The Ides of March, and The Monuments Men.

George Clooney

Not only was George Clooney making waves both in front and behind the camera, but he was also gaining recognition on the awards front too. He has been nominated many times for various awards, winning quite a few. Of those highlights, Clooney has taken home an Academy Award for the movie Syriana as Best Supporting Actor and another Academy for Argo, which he was the producer. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, one for O Brother, Where Art Thou? as Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Syriana, again, for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, The Descendants for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama, and Argo for Best Motion Picture – Drama.


George Clooney

So, with all this cache, why haven’t we seen George Clooney in almost five years? It might be because of his near-fatal accident back in 2017. He was in Sardinia, scootin’ along on his scooter with producing partner Grant Heslov. Clooney was rolling at 70 miles per hour when he went headfirst into a car, crashing through the windshield.

George Clooney told the Hollywood Reporter, “I’ve learned that I really actually cannot fly. I learned that lesson really well.” He then described the results. “Split my helmet in half. It knocked me out of my shoes,” he said. “It hit hard… and I was just waiting for the switch to turn off ’cause I broke his windshield with my head, and I thought, ‘OK, well, that’s my neck.’ He was told by his wife Amal, he is never riding a motorcycle again.

George Clooney

But it wasn’t just the near-fatal that has kept George Clooney away from in front of the camera. In his conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, he told them that Hollywood is not making the movies he is interested in. “The studios are less and less telling the kinds of stories that I like to tell.” He went on to further explain, “You know, Warner Bros. isn’t going to make Good Night, and Good Luck now; they’re not going to make Michael Clayton, quite honestly, now. So [these movies] are going to end up at Hulu or Netflix or Amazon or Apple or one of those places.”


George Clooney

George Clooney hasn’t been in a movie since the little noticed movie Money Monster way back in 2016. He hasn’t stopped making movies altogether though. In fact, he does finally have one more movie in the can and ready to roll. It’s for the super streaming service Netflix and is called The Midnight Sky.

Midnight Sky is a sci-fi piece that based on the novel Good Morning, Midnight and tells the story of a man who may or may not be the last man on earth after a cataclysmic event. He does find a child (so he isn’t the last) and he is also trying to get in contact with an astronaut and her crew, trying to inform them that coming back to Earth would be useless.

Midnight Sky
George Clooney in Midnight Sky

For George Clooney, he has nothing else on the books. Netflix is hoping Sky is a big hit and perhaps after that, they can convince Clooney to get back to work.