While The Flash is naturally intended to place Ezra Miller’s version of DC Comics’ Scarlet Speedster front and center, the movie has also become a platform spotlight different versions of Batman. Both Michael Keaton and Ben Affleck’s takes on Gotham City’s Caped Crusader are lined up for The Flash movie, and with so much multiversal craziness in store, there might be more on the way. However, if you were expecting to see George Clooney’s Batman as part of the superheroic festivities, don’t hold your breath.
It’s been 23 years since George Clooney’s sole outing as Batman in Batman & Robin, which was widely derided by critics and audiences alike for a variety of reasons, Batsuit-nipples among them. So when recently asked by Empire if he would join his fellow Batman actors in The Flash, Clooney amusingly shot down that prospect with the following:
[laughs] It's funny – you'll notice they didn't call me! Somehow I didn't get that call. They did not ask for my nipples. Listen, there are certain things you never know. This one, I know [laughs].
Technically speaking, George Clooney played the same version of Batman as Michael Keaton, in spite of the drastic tonal and architectural differences between Joel Schumacher’s Batman movies and the ones Tim Burton helmed. So if Keaton’s already in the mix, Clooney wouldn’t be necessary. But even ignoring the continuity of it all, Batman & Robin is still a dark note in Batman film history, with Clooney having previously apologized for his part in it and recently saying he was “terrible” in the movie. So you can’t blame Clooney for automatically ruling out anyone from Warner Bros and DC giving him a call about putting the cape and cowl back on.
1997’s Batman & Robin saw George Clooney’s Batman and Chris O’Donnell’s Robin battling Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze, Uma Thurman’s Poison Ivy and the monstrous Bane (played by Robert “Jeep” Swenson), with Alicia Silverstone’s Barbara Gordon later joining the mix as Batgirl. Along with its negative critical reception, Batman & Robin ended up being the lowest grossing Batman movie to date. As such, the proposed sequel, titled Batman Unchained, was cancelled, and the Batman film series was rebooted almost a decade later with Batman Begins.
Obviously George Clooney’s time as Batman didn’t adversely affect his career, but he’s clearly fine with continuing to leave that role far behind him. Again though, we already have two heavy hitter Batman actors who are appearing in The Flash, so it’s not like there isn’t enough star power attached. That said, getting Christian Bale on board would make for one hell of a trifecta.
No specific plot details for The Flash have been revealed yet, but it will be a loose adaptation of Flashpoint, the 2011 storyline that saw Barry Allen drastically changing the main DC timeline when he went back in time to save his mother from being murdered by Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. The Reverse-Flash. Billy Crudup is expected to reprise Barry’s father, Henry Allen, who was framed for that crime. There’s no word yet if Kiersey Clemons will return to play Iris West, who we’ll meet next year in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The Flash is expected to race into theaters on November 4, 2022, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates. Look through our DC movies guide to learn what else the DCEU has on the way.